Archive for April, 2007

Tigers Beat Blue Jays in Crazy Game

Nothing like a 10-9, three and a half hour game on a day where the wind was gusting up to 30 mph and the wind chill was below freezing.  Honestly, I thought this one was over in the early innings.  Curtis Granderon capped off an eight run third inning with his first career grand slam and the Tigers added another run in the fourth.  It was 10-2 when the proverbial poop hit the fan in the Blue Jays seventh.

In that seventh, the wind just became flat out crazy and Magglio Ordonez had a particularly tough time.  He never got charged with an error, but he looked like I do when thrown out in right field on a tough day out on the softball field, and that’s not a good thing.  To his credit, he made a great catch to finish up the inning on a ball that wouldn’t stand pat in that wind.

Nate Robertson picked up the win and he left in the sixth inning after he gave up two runs.  Jason Grilli bore the brunt of that big Blue Jays inning and he gave up five while Fernando Rodney was tagged for two runs.  At the plate, Ivan Rodriguez had four hits and Granderson drove in five.  The Tigers also showed some patience at the plate and they drew nine walks with Ordonez drawing three himself.  All nine Tiger starters reached base at least once.

The weather isn’t supposed to be much better tomorrow but it’s something Justin Verlander will have to cope with.  He’ll face Gustavio Chacin in a get away day game.


Here’s the WPA graph for today’s game.  You see it go up close to 100% when the Tigers scored all of those runs in the third but then things get hairy in the eighth inning.  And even though Curtis Granderon hit the grand slam, it just made a 4-0 lead an 8-0 lead so at the time, that didn’t add as much as you’d probably think.  In fact Placido Polanco led the hitters and he drove in only one run.  Todd Jones led the entire team with the troublesome ninth but he got out of his own jam so he gets the credit.

Sean Casey Owns A.J. Burnett

If you’ve never checked out the pregame Press Pass for the Tigers game at, there’s a ton of interesting information.  In today’s Press Pass, I learned that Sean Casey has the highest batting average among active players with at least 20 at bats.  He’s a solid 12 for 20 (.600) against Burnett so hopefully he’ll get it done today.  Also, Casey has been known for his decent starts.  He’s a .334 hitter in 308 at bats in the month of April since the 2003 season.  He’s also hit safely in all eight of opening day starts and that .334 average is fourth amongst active major league players.

Happy Birthday Tigerblog

Four years ago, I started this blog.  I was going to have a contest to have some fun to celebrate but I think I’m going to hold off until May.  It’d be fitting if the Tigers would win this afternoon though.

And thanks for all of you for stopping by over the years.  I usually tell people I do this for myself but I highly doubt that I would have kept it up this long if all of you didn’t stop by now and then.

Baseball Historians and Minor League Blogs

Alright, since it’s an off day, I wanted to do some announcement type stuff.  For those of you who haven’t been following it, I’ve been putting together a network of major league baseball sites that, while they all cover the current happenings of their particular team, they’ll also provide some very interesting historical baseball coverage.  One of the projects I’ve been working on is the 1967 AL Pennant Race site which will track, day by day in a diary format, what when down in what’s considered the greatest pennant race of all time.  In addition, it’s giving me a good preview of what I’ll be working on next year when I do the 1968 Tigers diary.  And if you like diaries, then Yankees History would be a nice site to check on once in a while.  Yankees blogger Nick Smith will be providing us with day by day coverage of four different Yankees championship teams (1927, 1937, 1947 and 1977).  Wrigley Field Curse will be taking a look at 1907 Cubs and Braves Baseball Blog will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves World Series win that season.  And while the site hasn’t been active recently, the All Star Game Blog is going to let you take a look at All Star Games past and the provide you with up to date information on the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco.

So there’s a ton to check out and to make it easier, I set up a central site called Baseball Historians which picks up all of the feeds.  So if you make that a daily stop, you’ll get coverage of all 30 teams and a whole lot more.  Some sites will be updating daily while others will be doing series recaps and then there’s the historical information.  I’m just glad this is finally coming together.

Similarly, with the help of Mike Cassidy at Tigers Minors, I’m doing something similar to provide minor league baseball coverage.  Right now, I have nine sites on line with a central site at Minor League Blogs which picks up all of the feeds for the nine sites.  There you’ll get daily minor league news and game recaps and the nice thing is, each minor league player will have his own category so if you want to see when a specific minor league player is mentioned, the sites are indexed nicely to accomodate that.  Most of these blogs have some content right now but they really kick things off on Thursday when the minor league season starts.

WPA and the Tigers Opener

For those of you not famliar with Win Probablity Added (WPA), it’s basically a measure of how much a particular player added to his team’s chance of winning based on not only what he did, but when he did it.  One thing I don’t like about it is that it gives more credit to a late homerun then it does to an early homerun which may end up being just as important.  The cool thing is though, you can then map out at any particular point in time what each team’s historical chances of winning are at any point in the game, which is what Fangraphs did here for yesterday’s Tiger game.

So you’ll see the Tigers chance go way down after that rough first inning but then they slowly creep back into the game.  Joel Zumaya ended up leading the team in WPA with those two scoreless innings he threw late in the game and Placido Polanco led all hitters with his three hits.  It looks like the Tigers best chance of winning was in the bottom of the ninth.  Fenando Rodney had the worst WPA amongst the pitchers because of his horrible tenth and then Carlos Guillen was at the bottom of the hitting chart with his 0 for 5 game.

And if the chart is too hard to read, you can also check out the play log.  This is a really fun site and you can go back to the games in 2002 if you want too.

Tigers Lose in Ten

The Tigers lost their home opener today in ten innings to the Blue Jays.  Jeremy Bonderman got into some major trouble in the first inning and gave up three runs before calming down.  He then went on to throw five shutout innings to get the Tigers back into the game.  Gary Sheffield hit two sac. flies and the other run scored on one of Placido Polanco’s three singles.

The game went into extra frames tied 3-3 until Fernando Rodney got into trouble.  He got Reed Johnson to ground out but then the trouble began.  He gave up a single then he walked Vernon Wells before he hit Frank Thomas to load the bases up.  A single and a squeeze play later and the Jays had a 5-3 lead, which would stand.

Curtis Granderson also had a decent day at the plate.  He went two for five with a run and only one strikeout.  Joel Zumaya walked two but he didn’t give up a hit in two scoreless frames while Todd Jones pitched a scoreless ninth.

It’ll be Nate Robertson on Wednesday.  I was thinking about trying to make it down on Thursday but it’s not going to happen.  On top of that, it’s supposed to really cool down and not even get up to 40.

Curtis Granderson Moves Blog to

Curtis Granderson has moved his blog over to ESPN.  Here’s his first post.

Game Time

It’s 1:01, the first pitch is coming up, and oh yeah, the Tigers are the defending AL Champs.  As a Tiger fan, have you ever been more excited about an upcoming season?

Ivan Rodriguez Hammers Blue Jays Pitching

I picked this up from the Tigers Press Pass, but Ivan Rodriguez is particularly good against the Blue Jays.  In his career, he’s 142 for 447 (.318) with 17 homeruns, 68 runs scored and 74 RBIs in 115.  He’s also doubled 33 times, which is more doubles then any other active player has against the Blue Jays.  He’s also ten of eighteen with two homeruns against Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.  Unfortunately, Pudge is the only Tiger starter today who’s hit more then .250 against Halladay.

Tigers Top Prospect

Tigers Minors finished up his series on the top ten Tigers prospects yesterday.  No surprise as to number one.  It was interesting reading the profiles especially when I saw the players’ names pop this spring, like Gorkys Hernandez.  The Tigers minor league affiliates have their opening day on Thursday.

Kenny Rogers’ Injury

Here’s a pretty complete analysis of Kenny Rogers DL stint at the Baseball Injury Report.

Mike Rabelo Profile

Here’s a look at the Tigers new backup catcher, Mike Rabelo.  It’s another great column by Jason Beck.

2007 Season Predictions

Alright, here’s where I get to make a fool out of myself.  Predicting what will happen in a 162 game season and then three series of playoffs is just about impossible.  I’m up for the challenge though, so here are my thoughts on the upcoming season.

AL East – New York Yankees – I just think they’re better then the Red Sox.  They’re deeper and I think A-Rod is going to have one of those years.  I also think the Rocket ends up in New York, and that will give them the boost they need.

AL Central – Chicago White Sox – This is probably my most contrarian pick since a lot of people have the White Sox third or fourth.  I see the rotation bouncing back and I also don’t think the Indians are as good as people think they’ll be.  The Tigers will give them a run, but fall just short this year.

AL West – LA Angels of Anaheim – You have one of the best pitching staffs and they have some punch to go with it all.  The A’s and even the Rangers should make this an interesting race but the Angels come out on top in the end.

AL Wild Card – Boston Red Sox – You’ve got two of the best hitters in the game, some great support and a top notch pitching staff.  The pen is suspect but the offense will see them through more games then the bullpen will blow.

NL East – Philadelphia Phillies – This was a tough one.  The Phillies have the pitching though, so I give them the edge.  The Mets will be right there and should make this a fun division race.

NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals – You’ve got the best hitter and one of the best pitchers in the league playing with the Cardinals and they have some other guys who can more then hold their weight.  This is close and I like the Brewers, but I think they’re the team of the future in this division.  The Cardinals will take one more this year though.

NL West – LA Dodgers – The offense is suspect but they have one of the deepest pitching staffs.  Chad Billingsley, who would start for several teams in the majors right now, is coming out of the pen and you have Jason Schmidt ancoring a solid rotation.  They’ll score enough runs to win the division, but just enough.

NL Wild Card – New York Mets – If they come in second to the Phillies, they may still be the second best team in the NL.  I know that goes out the window come playoffs so just getting there will go a long way.

World Series – Yankees over the Dodgers – A classic matchup but the Yankees hitting is just too much even for the Dodgers pitching staff.  Yankees in six games.

American League MVP – Alex Rodriguez – I think he’ll come close to hitting 50 homeruns this year, with the RBIs that go with them.

American League Cy Young – Johan Santana – Duh

American League ROY – Alex Gordon, just because Dice K won’t get some votes from the people who don’t believe he’s a rookie despite the rules.

National League MVP – Albert Pujols – Duh

National League Cy Young – Jake Peavy – Comes close to 300 strikeouts this year in a season where he puts it all together.

National League ROY – Chris Young – The Diamondbacks centerfielder will have a tough time beating out a solid NL rookie class, but a 20/20 season will garner him the award.

As far as the Tigers, I’m saying 91 wins.  Jeremy Bonderman will be the best pitcher and Gary Sheffield the best hitter.  I know I don’t have them making the playoffs but they’ll be playing meaningful ball into September and they’ll be right back in there in 2008 as the favorites.

So there it is.  The Mets and Cardinals are close to starting up.  Baseball is here folks.  Enjoy.

Tigers Sign Roger Clemens to Replace Injured Kenny Rogers

Now this came out of nowhere and man is this huge.  With Kenny Rogers looking to miss at least three months of the season, the Tigers acted quickly to replace him in the rotation by signing sure thing Hall of Famer Roger Clemens to a one year, $22 million deal.  I guess Clemens figured, why play for the Yankees when you can play for the team that beat the Yankees in the playoffs.  On top of that, the Tigers threw a bunch of money at him and if the Tigers weren’t favorites before, they’re definitely at the top now.  I haven’t heard whether there’s any weird travel clauses in his deal like Clemens had in Houston but regardless, the Tigers rotation just got much more solid.

Last year, Clemens made three or four minor league starts so Chad Durbin will probably fill in for a couple of weeks until Clemens can get back into the swing of things.  Late April at the latest before we see him in a Tiger uniform.  And how cool is it that Clemens might be going for win number 350 in Comerica Park.

This is definitely a historic day in Tiger history.  Mark your calendar.  Better yet, check your calendar.  What day is it?

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