Archive for June, 2005

Weekend Plans and a Sox Sweep

For the previous three years, my family and I have gone on a baseball trip every year around Independence Day, which is also near my birthday (July 5). The first trip was in 2002 and we went to Boston for a memorable trip to see the Tigers play the Red Sox at Fenway Stadium. The next year I got to see Roger Clemens pitch against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and last year we went to Toronto and watched the Blue Jays play from our hotel room.

This year’s trip was supposed to be to Cleveland, but the Indians aren’t in town this weekend. Instead we’re going to Cincinnati to check out their new ballpark. It doesn’t look to be a great pitching match up (Wandy Rodriguez vs. Aaron Harang), but I’m hoping to see Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn for the first time.

The White Sox finished their sweep of the Tigers this afternoon. Most disheartening is the fact that we could have put away the first two games, but didn’t. The loss puts us six games back of the Orioles for the Wild Card, with some other teams in between us. One of those teams is coming to town this weekend. We didn’t have much luck against the Yankees when we went to Yankee Stadium, so hopefully that will turn around. Jeremy Bonderman will be going up against Randy Johnson tomorrow.

Magglio Ordonez hit a homer and is two for three for the Mud Hens tonight. You can actually tune into the game by going to

Have a great holiday weekend.

Tigers Hammer Browns in Both Games of Doublheader

June 30, 1935 Tigers 18, Browns 1 (37-29)

The eighteen runs that the Tigers scored matches their season best (which would be equalled one more time, but never exceeded) as they pounded the Browns in the front end of their doubleheader. The Tigers put eight runs on the board in the first inning and scored in five of the first six innings of the game.

Gee Walker had a huge game as he came a homer short of the cycle. He went four for five. Pete Fox homered, scored four runs and drove in six. Hank Greenberg doubled and tripled while driving in a pair of runs.

Lost in the offensive onslaught was a great outing by Schoolboy Rowe. While he was given quite a bit to work with, he gave up only one run on seven hits.

June 30, 1935 Tigers 11, Browns 6 (38-29)

The Tigers didn’t let up on the Browns in the second game of the doubleheader. The Tigers put up a run in the first, which was matched by the Browns in the bottom half of the inning. In the second, the Tigers scored four only to see the Browns shave the lead to a single run by putting three more up in the bottom half of the inning. The Tigers finally busted the game open in the seventh. With the scored tied at 6-6, the Tigers scored five runs to give them the win.

Pete Fox was just as hot as he was in the first game. He went five for six with four runs and four RBIs. One of his five hits was a homer, and he came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. Mickey Cochrane went four for four and scored two runs while Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer both had a pair of hits and pair of RBIs.

General Crowder went the distance and gave up six runs on tweleve hits.

Bridges Shelled in Tigers Loss

June 29, 1935 Browns 9, Tigers 3 (36-29)

Tommy Bridges wasn’t on top of his game as he lasted only five innings and gave up seven runs on ten hits. Even Billy Rogell had his problems as he was hit up for two runs in the eighth.

The Tigers racked up eleven hits and three walks, but they were only able to move three runners across the plate. Hank Greenberg had a big game by going three for five with an RBI and a run. Pete Fox and Mickey Cochrane both had two hits.

The Tigers had three straight and seven of their last ten. The loss put them five games back of the first place Yankees.

Tigers at Diamondbacks 06/24/05-06/26/05

Game 1 (Final Score: 2-1, Diamondbacks win)

I’ll start with a newsworthy observation by the recap: “Former “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff watched the game from the Diamondbacks’ executive seats.” Methinks they put the quotation marks around “Baywatch” instead of “star” unintentionally. Like Haselhoff, the Tigers are mediocre, reaching .500 again with today’s one run loss.

Tigers’ hitters had a “Hasselhoffian” (mediocre) day. Shawn Estes held them in check with the only run coming in the fifth with two outs when Monroe came around to score on Maroth’s single (1-0). Inge followed with another single but Estes got Polanco to line out. With two more singles in the sixth the Tigers looked in decent shape to repeat their one run feat of the previous inning but Estes closed the inning out again.

The Diamondback hitters caught up with Maroth in the bottom half, scoring both runs with the help of a questionable play (not as questionable as NBA Finals officiating though). Until then Maroth had avoided jams like he had in the fourth with two on and none out. Luis Gonzalez, likely to be the first run of the game, was gunned down at home as he tried to score from first on Troy Glaus’s double. But in sixth, Royce Clayton and Gonzalez were both safe on a fielder’s choice call that Trammell argued before getting ejected. Glaus walked and Tony “Half Season” Clark hit an RBI single off Inge’s glove to tie the game and Shawn Green’s sac fly ended up the winning edge (2-1).

The Tigers threatened in the seventh and eighth but couldn’t crack Estes or the Dbacks bullpen. Logan walked and took second on Maroth’s sacrifice but he joined Inge to end the inning on a strike’em out, throw’em out double play. Polanco and White paired singles in the eighth but Rodriguez and Monroe ended the inning and fans’ hopes with a pair of fly outs.

Game 2 (Final Score: 1-5, Tigers win)

The Tigers finally turn to a fifth starter and surprised only those fans without a pulse by calling on Sean Douglass for his first big league start as a Tiger. Douglass’ opposition was Javier Vasquez who recently made the Tigers line-up look atrocious during the Dbacks visit to Comerica. Vasquez continued his dominance of the Tigers by allowing only one base runner in each of the first four innings, on three singles and a walk. Douglass countered with a less dominating though effective performance with his only serious black mark coming on a lead off homer by Jose Cruz Jr. in the second (1-0).

Douglass made it through six full innings so he got to see the Tigers come from behind for the win. The game was tied by Polanco in the bottom of the sixth on Rodriguez’s two out single (1-1). Vasquez started to pitch in the seventh like he was still a Yankee: Infante doubled, Shelton had a pinch hit RBI single, Inge smacked a triple, and Polanco singled him home (1-4). Javier Lopez entered the game and provided the Dbacks some relief since he got Young to fan while Polanco took second on a passed ball. Brandon Medders relieved him ineffectively and gave up an RBI single to White (1-5). Both teams’ pens closed the door on their opponents’ batsmen setting up a rubber match tomorrow.

Alas, there was no information about David Hasselhoff’s plans for the evening.

Game 3 (Final Score: 13-7, Diamondbacks win)

Perhaps you’ve heard of Jeremy Bonderman? Well he was supposed to pitch in this game but he apparently has a body double that pitches like Jose Lima and that’s the guy who threw BP for the Dbacks during the first three innings. They scored off Limderman in the first on a single by Alex Cintron and a two home run by Shawn Green, in the second on a two run single by Cintron and a single by Chad Tracy, and finally in the third on Cruz’s two run homer (8-0). Creek relieved Limderman but not the Tigers in the third since he allowed another run on Counsell’s double (9-0). Meanwhile the Tigers earned first base on a walk, an intentional walk, a hit-by-pitch, and second on a wasted double.

Creek increased the deficit in the fourth after Chad Tracy extended a single into a triple with the help of Logan’s error. He crossed the plate on Green’s second homer and Creek later completed the inning (11-0). Spurling entered the game in the sixth and surrendered the third two run homer of the day to Tony Clark (13-0).

The bats finally woke up in the bottom of the sixth, perhaps rejuvenated by watching their old mate park one in the outfield like he did so infrequently as a Tiger. The batters smacked three doubles, a triple, and a homer, resulting in five runs (13-5). Where were all these extra base hits earlier? Two more runs were added in the ninth on a lot of singles and an error by Cintron but the Dbacks took the series (13-7).

J Bonderman 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
S Douglass 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
T Giarratano 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
A Gomez 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
C Guillen 5 0 1 0 0 2 0.200 0.400
O Infante 10 2 2 3 0 6 0.200 0.600
B Inge 12 1 3 1 1 5 0.250 0.417
N Logan 9 1 1 1 2 2 0.111 0.222
M Maroth 3 0 1 1 0 0 0.333 0.000
C Monroe 13 1 6 0 0 7 0.462 0.538
P Polanco 10 2 4 1 1 4 0.400 0.400
I Rodriguez 10 0 1 1 0 1 0.100 0.100
C Shelton 6 3 2 1 0 2 0.333 0.333
J Smith 3 2 2 1 0 4 0.667 1.333
R White 10 0 3 1 1 3 0.300 0.300
V Wilson 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
D Young 9 1 3 1 1 4 0.333 0.444









J Bonderman 2 9 8 8 1 1 36.00 5.00
D Creek 2 3 3 3 1 3 13.50 2.00
S Douglass 6 4 1 1 2 1 1.50 1.00
K Farnsworth 1.2 2 0 0 1 2 0.00 2.50
F German 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.00 2.00
M Maroth 6.2 7 2 0 1 2 0.00 1.29
T Percival 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 1.00
F Rodney 2 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 0.50
C Spurling 2.1 2 2 2 1 4 8.57 1.43
J Walker 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Totals 25 29 16 14 9 16 5.04 1.52

Tigers at Twins 06/21/05-06/23/05

Due to recent time commitments and my own general idiocy I would like to apologize to my one loyal reader at this time for the tardiness of my posts. Sorry Mom!

Game 1 (Final Score: 7-2, Tigers win)

Bonderman started the series against a team that the Tigers haven’t played well in the last few years. The opportunity to be a game over .500 and pick up a full game on a team in the Central isn’t tremendous pressure in the larger scheme but this is a team that hasn’t had a winning record very often and small victories make fans like me feel better. Thus Bonderman’s stellar performance helped to wash away some of my bitter feelings towards the team and its “pitching prospects” of past years and poor season performances. Whew.

The hitters provided a fair lead in the top of the fourth with three runs scoring on a pair of singles. Polanco, on third after hitting a single, making second on an error, and advancing on Young’s groundout, was joined on base by White after he earned a walk. Rodriguez’s single pushed everyone ahead a base and gave Monroe two base runners (1-0). His single gave Shelton the bases loaded and Shelton’s single scored two more runs before Infante and Logan stymied the inning with ineffective hitting (3-0).

Bonderman was excellent through three innings. He got some defensive help from Pudge’s pickoff of Joe Mauer in the first after Mauer’s double, but Pudge wasn’t able to help with Shannon Stewart’s double in the fourth. Mauer and Justin Morneau helped the Tigers by making outs but they were sandwiched around Lew Ford’s run scoring single (3-1). With Torri Hunter at the plate, Pudge erased another Twin base runner, catching Ford trying to take second. In the fifth, the Twins touched Bonderman up for another run when Jacque Jones singled Hunter (single and stolen base) home from second but by then the Tigers had doubled their run output for the game.

Kyle Lohse issued another walk (a rarity from a Twins pitcher) to Inge to start the inning. He got Polanco to fly out but Young’s fly cleared the fences for two runs (5-1). After White’s groundout and Rodriguez’s single, Matt Guerrier came in for Lohse. Monroe greeted him with a double and took third on a wild pitch to Shelton after Rodriguez had scored, but Shelton ended the inning (6-1). Guerrier gave up three singles in the seventh and Rodriguez earned an RBI with his groundout to complete the scoring (7-2).

Terry Mulholland continued the effective Twins’ relief in the eighth and ninth and Bonderman finished out the game using only 107 pitches.

Game 2 (Final Score: 8-1, Tigers win)

Another excellent start supported with plenty of runs. It makes me wish the Tigers would save some runs for when they need them but I’ll take the win and so did Robertson. Despite surrendering just singles the entire game and working against his penchant for issuing walks, Robertson was still in the hole early. The game started fine with Stewart jumping on the third pitch for a groundout but Luis Rivas took first on a bunt single and second on Young’s error. He scored on Ford’s single but Hunter erased Ford with his 5-4-3 double play (1-0).

The Tigers evened the game up in the second and pulled ahead in the third. Monroe hit a two out double and scored on an Infante single after the Shelton walk (1-1). Logan drew a walk but Inge failed with runners at the corners after his grounder was gobbled up for the third out. In the third, Polanco led off with a double and White earned a one out walk. Rodriguez singled Polanco home from third, which he’d taken on Joe Mays’ wild pitch (2-1). Monroe plated White but Shelton’s hard hit ball was directly at Rivas and was turned into two outs (3-1).

Infante struck again in the fourth with a leadoff homer and was followed home by Logan, who’d singled, on Inge’s double (5-1). Polanco sacrificed Inge to third and Smith made out two with his grounder. White took first on an error by third baseman Michael Cuddyer and Inge scored (6-1).

One more Tiger run was added in each of the fifth and seventh innings. Infante inefficiently grounded out Monroe home from third (walked, second on a wild pitch, third on Shelton’s groundout) only to be followed by a Logan double and an Inge walk. They were stranded when Polanco finally made one of his rare outs but he later delivered in the seventh. Polanco was at bat with one out used and the bases loaded; A Shelton walk, Infante fly out, Logan’s reached on an error, and Inge’s walk had already passed. He plated Shelton and watched the rest of the inning go by on a pair of fielder’s choices from Smith and White. And Robertson pitched on.

Game 3 (Final Score: 2-6, Twins win)

No pitch-by-pitch info so this will be mercifully short. Carlos Silva provided the starting pitching the Twins wanted and didn’t get in the first two games, limiting the Tigers to a pair of runs on plenty of hits and no walks. Shelton stepped up big, scoring twice with three hits, while hitting third in the lineup. It was an off day for Pudge and Young so the Tigers had three mostly dead bats between Gomez, Infante, and Wilson hitting today.

Jason Johnson ended his streak of near domination, managing only 5.2 innings on 90 pitches. He had as ugly a first inning as I can imagine, allowing two runs on his wild pitch/strike three when he calmly watched Morneau and Mauer score without covering home. He gave up a single and two walks to load the bases, all with two outs. LeCroy’s single scored an additional two runs and the Tigers never recovered. Johnson was tolerable the rest of the way but it was still a putrid way to lose a chance at a sweep.

A Gomez 4 0 1 1 0 1 0.250 0.250
O Infante 13 1 3 3 0 6 0.231 0.462
B Inge 10 2 3 1 4 4 0.300 0.400
N Logan 11 1 2 0 1 3 0.182 0.273
C Monroe 12 2 5 2 1 7 0.417 0.583
P Polanco 13 3 5 1 1 6 0.385 0.462
I Rodriguez 10 2 4 3 0 4 0.400 0.400
C Shelton 11 3 4 3 2 7 0.364 0.636
J Smith 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
R White 12 2 2 0 2 2 0.167 0.167
V Wilson 3 0 1 0 0 1 0.333 0.333
D Young 6 1 2 2 0 5 0.333 0.833









J Bonderman 9 5 2 2 2 9 2.00 0.78
J Johnson 5.2 9 6 5 2 3 8.65 2.12
T Percival 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
N Robertson 9 5 1 0 1 6 0.00 0.67
F Rodney 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
T Percival 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
Totals 26 19 9 7 5 21 2.42 0.92

Tigers Hammer Browns In Both Ends of Doubleheader

June 28, 1935 Tigers 10, Browns 1 (35-28)

Billy Rogell, Mickey Cochrane, and Hank Greenberg all homered for the Tigers. Greenberg’s three RBIs led the way, while Pete Fox scored two runs.

Elden Auker was nearly flawless as he gave up only one run on four hits. He struck out five and walked four.

June 28, 1935 Tigers 7, Browns 2 (36-28)

Hank Greenberg hit two solo homers (for a total of three in the doubleheader) while Pete Fox and Ray Hayworth both had two hits and two runs.

Vic Sorrell threw a nice game in what was his first start of the season. He gave up only two runs on six hits, and he struck out three.

Tigers Top White Sox With Four Homeruns

June 27, 1935 Tigers 9, White Sox 5 (34-28)

Four different Tigers homered as the Tigers topped one of the their toughest rivals. Pete Fox, Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer all had two hits and hit homeruns.

General Crowder was rolling in this game until he was pulled in the eighth (the White Sox eventually scored four runs). In all, he and reliever Schoolboy Rowe held the White Sox to five hits.

New Tigers Blog

For those of you looking for even more content, be sure to check out the newest Tigers blog, Bless You Boys. It’s run by none other then Jeff, who helped me out a ton by writing a weekly column for the last couple of months. Be sure to check him out.

Getting Caught Up, Polanco, and Jose Mesa

It took me a couple of weeks, but I’m now completely caught up on both the 1935 Tigers and 1975 Reds diaries. If the old teams are your bag, be sure to check them out. And just as a little teaser, the 1935 Tigers season is about to get really interesting.

Now I just have to make sure that I don’t fall behind again. Or even better, I need to try to get ahead.

In some ways I was wrong about my initial analysis of the Placido Polanco trade. He’s helped the team a lot more then I thought he would, and in that respect, I was wrong. Since starting with the Tigers on June 10, the Tigers are 9-6, which for the Tigers at this point really isn’t bad. What I was correct about was whether he’d put us into contention because since June 10, the White Sox are 10-5, so we’ve actually dropped a half game in the standings.

Just to put our deficit in perspective, say the Tigers sweep the Sox to end the month. At that point, they’ll turn a thirteen game deficit into a ten game deficit. Then lets say the Sox hit a soft patch and finish the rest of the season going .500. That would put them at 92 or 93 wins. For the Tigers to catch up to the Sox, they’d have to go 53-34. And that’s assuming the Twins and Indians are equally apathetic.

I hate to give up on the boys at this point, but I honestly think they should be looking to next year. I know there’s the wild card, but even for that we’re 4.5 games back with four teams ahead of us (and the Yankees tied with us). And while I’m sure they won’t start retooling for 2006 right now, by the trade deadline it’ll all be pretty apparant.

If you’ve been a reader of this site, you’ll know how much I hate the save statistic. In my personal opinion, Goose Gossage is the all time best reliever ever. Jose Mesa saved his nineteenth game of the season today, and he passed Gossage on the all time saves list with number 311. Those in the “know” are aware that Mesa isn’t even close to being in Gossage’s league, but 50 years from now, who will know what people will think when they see the all time list.

White Sox are on deck. Be sure to check out Black Sox Blog to get a feel for how well these guys have been playing.

Senators Top Tigers to End Five Game Series

June 25, 1935 Senators 7, Tigers 4 (33-28)

Schoolboy Rowe was shelled for eleven hits and seven runs through five innings. And while the Tigers put two runs on the board in the eighth, it wasn’t nearly enough as the Senators took the fifth and final game of this series.

Goose Goslin had the big bat for the Tigers as he went four for four with a run and an RBI.

Tigers Edge Senators in Fourteen

June 24, 1935 Tigers 9, Senators 8 (33-27)

The Tigers and Senators really put on a show for the Navin’s Field crowd. The Senators jumped out to a 5-1 lead off of Tigers started Tommy Bridges but the Tigers answered in the fifth with four runs to tie the game. For the next seven innings, neither team scored a run. In the top of the thirteenth, with Bridges still on the mound, the Senators scored three runs to make it 8-5 only to see the Tigers answer in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own to push the game into the fourteenth inning.

Elden Auker relieved Bridges in the fourteenth and held the Senators scoreless, allowing the Tigers to win it in the bottom half of the inning. Unfortunately I only have a box score for this one, so while I know what each player did, I don’t know when they did it.

Pete Fox, Gee Walker and Charlie Gehringer all scored twice for the Tigers. Goose Goslin and Hank Greenberg both drove in three runs.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

What to do? What to do?…. I think we’ve all faced a time in our lives when, for whatever reasons, we had a number of options in front of us, and didn’t know which path to choose. I know I have had times when I wished I had fewer options than what I did, simply because it would make the decision easier. You don’t sleep well, every waking moment is spent considering the options and the consequences. And somewhere deep down, you know there are unanticipated consequences, things you just can’t possibly know. Yet, you worry about that, too, trying to anticipate the unthinkable. It’s your life, and you’re trying to make the best decision possible. It can be a lot of pressure.

I wonder how Dave Dombrowski is sleeping these days. Let’s face it, he’s got to be shopping Rondell White. That one is a no-brainer. Rondell’s trade value is never going to be higher than it is right now. And with Magglio Ordonez coming back, moving Craig Monroe over to left field and keeping Nook Logan’s stellar defense (and whatever offense he provides is gravy) in the lineup makes a ton of sense. But there are (likely) offers on the table that are varied. Do you take the offer from a fellow contending team who is trading strength-for-strength (which is what the Polanco-Urbina trade boiled down to), or do you ship him to (let’s say) Atlanta for some of their premium prospects?

In a way, I would bet that Dombrowski is fervently hoping that Curtis Granderson just continues to muddle along down in Toledo with numbers that look good-not-great… Curtis going on a hot streak would just mess everything up. Wait. Then again, maybe we could send him out to a “seller” team if he picks it up… Hell, we’ve got that Monroe-Logan-Ordonez outfield set for a few years. They can hang in there until the next outfield prospect comes along, right? Or will Curtis start tearing it up for some other team starting immediately after we trade him? I still remember that Randy Johnson trade I made in Montreal… People forget, there was little clue that he was going to The Big Unit or even merely above average at the time of the trade. Hell, he struggled mightily in Seattle for a while before he suddenly figured it out. And let’s not forget that Mark Langston pitched well for us… Jeez, a 2.39 ERA and 12 wins in 24 starts… How can you complain about that? Uh, wait, where was I again? Yeah, Granderson… Mark him as potentially a big part of the 2007 Tigers… And also as a guy who can potentially bring us what we need to get over the top right here in 2005.

And that young pitching… Wow, Verlander and Zumaya are just lighting it up down there, aren’t they? Makes you wonder if some “seller” team might be interested in Wil Ledezma, doesn’t it? Or would a “buyer” team be interested in Mike Maroth? What are each of those teams offering? But we should probably wait and see how Sean Douglass will perform as a fill-in, right? Or are we being offered, in return for Ledezma, a guy who can start for us right now?

We’ve already traded away excess from our bullpen, but it makes you wonder if anybody would be interested in Matt Ginter. Or is one of the contending teams fishing around for a LOOGY? Has anyone else noticed that Vic Darensbourg hasn’t allowed a run in Toledo all year?

Then there is the “X” factor… And here is where his experience in the now-infamous Randy Johnson trade might come in handy… On the day of that trade, Dombrowski’s Expos were at dead-on .500, and it was a little early yet… They were 23-23, and the date was just May 23. The Expos finished up dead-on at .500, too, 81-81, 12 games back of the Cubs in the NL East (and, just for fun, they finished 8 games back of the Padres, who would have been the wild card winner that year, had there been one… For that matter, they would have been only 6 back of the Mets, who would have won the fictional NL East title with the Cubs moved to the imaginary NL Central). So the “X” factor is this: How the big club performs between now and… let’s say about 10 games after the all-star break (that’ll be a touch more than a week before the July 31 trade deadline). Is Magglio back and raking? Is any of the starting pitching on the DL? Is Verlander punishing the Eastern League just like he did the FSL? Is Zumaya ready for the call? Just what are the honest chances that we’ll actually be able to make a race of it for the wild card?

Of course, in years past, Verlander would have been up to Erie by mid-May, Zumaya would have been up to Toledo about now, and Tiger fans would be clamoring for them to get a chance in The Show, because, after all, they couldn’t be much worse than the crap we’re running out there now… But that was years past. Let’s face it, come next year’s spring training, if we do nothing… We’re going to have too much starting pitching. Any GM has to smile at the very thought.

In our lives, we sometimes run into situations where the number of options seems overwhelming. Dombrowski might be feeling a little bit of that right now. On the other hand, I don’t think he thinks of this as a bad thing. Indeed, this is not a bad thing at all. Remember back when we were in the 7th year of Randy Smith’s 5-year plan? Dombrowski is now in his 4th year at the helm (and I suppose you could argue that it’s really only his 3rd, as the 2002 season represented something of a necessary purge of the Randy Smith plan), and I see very positive things for Year 5… And that’s even if you discount what’s happening right now, in Year 4.

Senators Hammer Sullivan, Top Tigers

June 23, 1925 Senators 12, Tigers 7 (32-27)

Rookie lefthander Joe Sullivan was shelled for six runs through one official inning of work. He left the game with nobody out in the second, and the pen didn’t fare too much better as the Senators put six more runs up on the board. I couldn’t find out why, but this was Joe Sullivan’s last start of the season as he apparantly was relegated to the pen. Sullivan’s contribution shouldn’t be discounted because if you remember, he won the game that snapped the Tigers 2-9 start and he went on to win two more games over the next week and half. By that time, the Tigers had improved to 8-10, with half of those wins during that being when Sullivan took the mound.

Hank Greenberg hit yet another homerun and he drove in four runs. Charlie Gehringer hit a homer as well and both he and Pete Fox had two hits and two runs.

Slowly But Surely

I’m slowly getting caught up with the 1935 Diary. Hopefully this weekend. If you’re looking for something to read, check out my latest Business of Baseball Report over at the Hardball Times.

Tigers Top Senators Twice

June 22, 1935 Tigers 7, Senators 0 (31-26)

For the third time in eight days, the Tigers were forced to play doubleheaders. It was either feast or famine as they took both games in two of those doubleheaders, and lost two when they played the Yankees earlier in the week.

General Crowder threw one of his best games to date as he held the Senators to five hits and he didn’t let a single player cross the plate. Gee Walker had a big game as he went three for four and was a homerun short of hitting for the cycle. Hank Greenberg continued to contribute as he went two for three with twp RBIs. And Hall of Famer Goose Goslin had three hits of his. He scored a run and drove in one.

June 22, 1935 Tigers 10, Senators 9 (32-26)

The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead in this game and almost let it slip away. The Senators came all the way back and made it 10-9 ballgame by scoring two runs in the ninth, but they came up just a bit short and Elden Auker walked away with a tough win despite giving up 10 hits through six innings of work.

Hank Greenberg, who’s name shows up in these entries just about every day (proving why he was the league MVP) hit yet another homerun for the Tigers. His three run shot was part of a big six run run second inning. Gee Walker also went yard and he drove in three runs. Charlie Gehringer had two hits and he drove in two runs.

With three consecutive wins, the Tigers moved into a tie with the White Sox. They trailed the second place Indians by a single game, and the first place Yankees by five.

Schoolboy Rowe Four Hits Yankees

June 21, 1935 Tigers 7, Yankees 0 (30-26)

The Tigers salvaged the series by topping the Yankees in the fourth and final game of their series with the Yankees. Schoolboy Rowe really came through for the Tigers as he threw a four hit gem. He walked three and struck out seven.

Five runs were put on the board in the Tigers half of the sixth. Two of those runs were driven in by Rowe. Charlie Gehringer hit a solo shot and scored twice while Flea Clifton drove in two runs.

Giants at Tigers 06/17/05-06/19/05

Game 1 (Final Score: 4-0, Giants win)

Jason Schmidt pretty much did what he wanted against the Tigers’ hitters today. The number of hits is misleading since they were scattered across his eight innings of work. Only in the ninth did they really threaten his command of the game and Tyler Walker relieved him and beat up Pudge, Monroe, and Shelton and then stole their lunch money. For the most part the Tigers didn’t work Schmidt very hard during each at bat and he made big pitches when necessary.

Nate Robertson’s pitching performance doesn’t disgust me and you could probably describe me as marginally satisfied. The two run second was almost completely his fault since he bailed the Giants out with that two out walk and gave up a single to a poor hitter like Mike Matheny. His wild pitch that put Todd Linden on third (scored on a groundout by Snow) was regrettable but pretty standard fare for him. The only thing that gets me is the number of early inning (none or one out) doubles he gave up. Twice these hits lead to runs and the outfield defense is about as good as it’s going to get this year with White, Monroe, and Logan out there.

Game 2 (Final Score: 2-8, Tigers win)

Jason Johnson continued his outstanding season for the Tigers even though he started rough. The pair of first inning one out singles led to a pair of runs when Johnson misplayed Moises Alou’s batted ball giving the Giants an extra out so Michael Tucker was able to hit another single (2-0). Those were the only runs Johnson allowed even though he consistently gave up singles to the Giants and issued several free passes. One huge difference for him was the dearth of extra base hits he allowed the Giants. As the Tigers have proved it is hard to score runs if you’re only getting one base at a time.

The hitters started strong and ended up with an excellent performance. In the first, Inge, White, and Rodriguez hit balls for extra bases and tied the game (2-2). Infante continued their train of strong hits with a double that ended up being the game winning run once Polanco batted him home (2-3). In the third Pudge hit his second double of the day and scored on Shelton’s two out single to center (2-4). The batters rested in the fourth so they were well prepared to run up the score in the fifth. Four runs crossed the plate; Rodriguez singled and scored on Monroe’s (Rueter’s last batter) double off Rueter, Shelton’s single scored Monroe from first, Infante doubled again and joined Shelton at home on Inge’s one out single (2-8).

Some stout ninth inning defense helped Fernando Rodney avoid giving up more runs. Matheny lead off with a double and was on third after Omar Vizquel followed with a single. Rodney got Jason Ellison to tap the ball back to him and he successfully made out one at home. J.T. Snow hit an infield single to load the bases for Adam Shabala (in for Alou) who struck out in four pitches. Ray Durham iced the game by jumping on Rodney’s second offering and sending it straight at Polanco.

Game 3 (Final Score: 8-10, Tigers win)

After watching the White Sox win some exciting games it was sure nice to read the same about the Tigers. Mike Maroth started poorly when he gave the Giants another early lead in the second. A two out walk to Pedro Feliz and a two out single to Yorvit Torrealba don’t sound dangerous until you pile on another walk to Todd Linden and a two run single by Adam Shabala (2-0). Rondell White halved the gap with his lead off homer in the bottom half on a 1-2 pitch from Jesse Foppert but the other batters wasted a single and two walks with a botched bunt, an Infante strikeout, and Inge’s fly out (2-1).

Lance Niekro’s single went for naught in the top of the third but Polanco’s lead off walk in the bottom half resulted in a tie game on Monroe’s sac fly with the bases loaded (2-2). Sadly Pudge’s stolen base and Shelton’s walk were wasted by Alexis Gomez who struck out on the eighth pitch of his at bat. This free base spree continued in the fourth with one to impatient Infante and another to Polanco. Young’s double only scored one run (Infante was on third after Foppert’s earlier balk) but Polanco still found home this inning after Jeff Fassero tossed a wild pitch (2-4). The Giants struck right back with a two run shot off Maroth by Niekro (Deivi Cruz was on) and the game stayed tied until the eighth (4-4).

Farnsworth allowed his first run since he was a Cub (a slight exaggeration) on Cruz’s single that scored Linden, who was on after a lead off walk (5-4). The lately deadly Infante got the run right back in the bottom of the frame with a triple that scored Gomez from first (5-5). The game looked to be in good hands when Percival took the mound in the ninth and got two strikeouts after giving up a single and a walk. That made Linden’s three run homer especially painful since the Tigers looked to be ready to hand it to Da Meat of the order in the bottom half (8-5).

Da Meat came through in the bottom half anyway. Actually, it was White who got things started with a one out walk. He made third on Rodriguez’s single and scored on Monroe’s sac fly (8-6). Chris Shelton stepped up and delivered a huge two run shot to tie the game and give the lucky fans some extra baseball (8-8). (Does one big hit validate a call-up?) In the tenth Walker pitched a 1-2-3 inning and ended up earning the victory on Polanco’s walk off two run homer in the bottom half, emphasizing the dubious value of the Win statistic (8-10).

T Giarratano 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
A Gomez 4 1 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
O Infante 8 3 5 1 0 9 0.625 1.125
B Inge 13 2 5 3 2 9 0.385 0.692
N Logan 6 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
C Monroe 10 1 2 3 2 3 0.200 0.300
P Polanco 13 3 4 3 2 7 0.308 0.538
I Rodriguez 12 3 6 0 0 7 0.500 0.583
C Shelton 12 2 3 4 2 6 0.250 0.500
J Smith 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
R White 12 3 4 2 1 10 0.333 0.833
D Young 14 0 3 1 1 4 0.214 0.286









K Farnsworth 1 1 1 1 1 0 9.00 2.00
F German 1.2 2 0 0 1 1 0.00 2.50
J Johnson 8 9 2 1 3 4 1.13 1.50
M Maroth 5 7 4 4 3 2 7.20 2.00
T Percival 1 2 3 3 1 3 27.00 3.00
N Robertson 7 8 4 4 1 5 5.14 1.29
F Rodney 1 3 0 0 0 1 0.00 3.00
C Spurling 2.1 1 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.48
J Walker 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.00









Tigers Lose Third Straight to Yankees

June 20, 1935 Yankees 5, Tigers 2 (29-26)

I’m sure this isn’t how manager Mickey Cochrane had hoped that this home series would go as the Yankees took their third straight game against the Tigers. Rookie Joe Sullivan took the loss as he gave up five runs on six hits and seven walks through seven innings of work.

Pete Fox had two hits and he drove in a run. Charlie Gehringer singled, drove in a run and scored. In all, the Tigers were held to five hits.

Immediate Returns
  • I know that nine games do not a trade make, but nearly two weeks in, could the Polanco-Urbina trade look any better? The Tigers’ new second baseman has hit safely in eight of his nine games in a Detroit uniform (and he looks darn sharp), putting up a .378/.415/.514 line. He hit a walk-off home run last night to bring the Tigers back to .500 again, and he’s provided solid defense and a consistent presence in the #2 hole. The timing was nice, too, with Carlos Guillen still on the DL and Tony Giarratano looking like a young player who was having a medicore season at Double-A before his call-up three weeks ago (0-for-his-last-15, 6-42 in the bigs on the season). Despite his scuffles, though, middle infield looks set to become the strength we thought it could be before the season. Guillen will come off the DL this week, and Omar Infante’s two starts at shortstop since he lost his 2B job produced three doubles, a triple, and even a walk. If Guillen is healthy and Infante starts to turn it around, or Trammell wants to give him a chance to turn it around, the Tigers should consider playing Infante at second, Guillen at short, Polanco at third (he played there very effectively every time David Bell got hurt in Philly), Inge in center, and Logan as a pinch runner and bunter.
  • Ugueth Urbina got shelled in his first outing with the Phillies, but has pitched extremely well since (3 IP, 0 H, 6 K). That’s fine — I hope he does well there as Ed Wade’s latest mid-season relief-pitching acquisition. The fact remains that a second expensive bullpen man was a luxury the Tigers didn’t need.
  • Polanco wasn’t the only Tiger hero on Sunday. Chris “Babyface” Shelton tied the game with a two-run blast in the ninth. That the blow came off nominal Giants’ closer Tyler Walker was even more satisfying — Walker struck out the side with the bases loaded in the ninth two days before to seal a win, and Shelton was his final, overmatched victim. I have high hopes that Shelton might turn into a Dmitri Young-type hitter someday, or even this year. If Guillen is healthy enough to play but cannot take the field, it opens a spot for Infante but forces Shelton or Young to the bench. That’s a net loss.
  • Next up for the Kitties: a trip to the Metrodome. All is well, though. For the third time in three series so far this year with the Twins, the Tigers won’t have to face Cy Young winner and generally scary dude Johan Santana, he of the 124 Ks and 17 BBs. The Twins’ historic stinginess with the walk, however, will still pose a problem for the hacktastic Tigers.
  • What’s the value of a decent team? About 6,000 fans per game. Attendance in the dark days of 2003 slipped to 17,000 per game. It rose last year to almost 24K, and is nearly identical in 2004. The number seems low. Large market, reasonably exciting team, nice new stadium, twenty-first in attendance. What’s missing?
  • It kills me that Robert Horry was open at the end of overtime last night. Kills me.

Tigers Drop Two to First Place Yankees

June 19, 1935 Yankees 13, Tigers 3 (29-24)

The Tigers were on the receiving end of a hitting barrage this time as Lou Gehrig ended up a double short of hitting for the cycle, but his four RBIs were more runs then the entire Tigers team put up.

Yankees starter Lefty Gomez held the Tigers to three runs on nine hits. Pete Fox, Gee Walker, and Flea Clifton all had two hits, while Fox and Walker hit solo homers. General Crowder was lifted in the sixth in the midst of a five run inning as he took the loss.

June 19, 1935 Yankees 7, Tigers 6 (29-25)

This one was closer, but the end result was the same. Tommy Bridges lost for the first time since April 27 as he gave up seven runs on eleven hits. The game was tied 4-4 going into the ninth when Bridges was tagged for three runs. The Tigers answered with two, but their rally came up just short.

Flea Clifton had three hits and two RBIs while Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg and Pete Fox all homered for the Tigers.

The losses dropped the Tigers to fourth place in the standings and they now trailed the Yankees by 6 1/2 games.

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