Archive for May, 2007

Tiger Trivia Challenge Begins Today

Alright, the trivia contest starts up today and here are the final/comments rules so you know what to do.  For participants, I’ll be posting a Tiger trivia question at the top of the hour at some time between noon and 10 pm Detroit time (Eastern Daylight Time).  You then have one hour to send in your answer as well as your favorite Tiger site (excluding Tigerblog, since the only reason you’re here is to win $50 anyway) to  There’s going to be some judgement on my end as far as the cutoff time and the emails so if you want to be safe, don’t send your answer right at the deadline if you can avoid it.  Also, try to use the same email address throughout the contest.  If you can’t, then make sure when you send an email from a second email address, that you let me know what the original email address was so I don’t count you as two people.

Bloggers are excluded, but they win if the participant who wins the challenge picks them as their favorite site.  All I ask from you is that you don’t post the question or, more importantly the answer, on your site.  You can tell them that the question is up and how much time they have though.  I know I have no way of enforcing this but your help here would be very much appreciated.

You’ll get a question Monday through Friday this week, then Monday through Friday next week for a total of ten questions.  Whoever answers the most questions wins $50 and their favorite Tiger site/blogger wins $50 as well.  And of course you get the bragging rights because I’m hoping some of these questions will be pretty tough (with today’s being the easiest to get you started).  If there’s a tie, there will be a sudden death playoff round the following week.

So good luck to everyone, and I hope you have fun.

Tigers Finish Sweep Over Cardinals

The Tigers got it done for the third straight time in their series sweep over the Cardinals.  The final was 6-3 and it means that, assuming the Indians hold on to beat the Reds, that the Tigers will remain one game back in the loss column to the Indians.  At this point last year, they were 29-14 so they’re doing a good job of keeping up the same pace that they did last year.

Justin Verlander had another nice start and for the second straight start, he pitched into the eighth inning.  He improved to 5-1 and he gave up just two runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts in eight innings.  Prior to the season starting, I was asked whether Justin Verlander would win 15 games and I said no (I figured he’d be at 13 or 14).  While the season isn’t over and I still could be right, it’s one of the things where you also don’t mind being wrong about.

Sean Casey had another nice game.  He only finished with one hit but he drove in two and scored a run and he had a hit in each of the three games in the series.  Mike Rabelo also got had a nice day at the plate.  He went two for four with a run and an RBI and Brandon Inge hit his eighth homerun of the season.

Fernando Rodney got into trouble in the ninth, but Bobby Seay came in to get the final out and he picked up his first career save.  While Seay’s ERA looks high (and it is), it’s mostly because of one rough outing where he gave up four runs earlier in the week to Boston.  If you take that out, he’s having a pretty good season.

Next up is the Angels with John Lackey and Mike Maroth locking up on Tuesday.  Maroth is 3-0, but his strikeout to walk ratio (15/15) doesn’t impress.  Regardless, it’d be nice if he could push himself to 4-0 with a nice start tomorrow.

Tomorrow begins the Tiger Trivia Challenge.  I’ll probably repost the rules for those that missed it in the morning but once noon hits, it’s fair game.  Good luck to everyone and I appreciate all of the bloggers who have helped me promote the contest.  I’m hoping it’ll be fun for everyone.

More Andrew Miller

First Inning has an interesting story on Andrew Miller.  They talk about what I’ve been mentioning, and that’s the fact that he’s an extreme ground ball pitcher and his two seemer and they try to draw some parallels to Roy Halladay and Brandon Webb.  Note that this was written prior to his first start on Friday.

Troy Percival Looking to Comeback?

Former Tiger closer (I say that with a chuckle) Troy Percival may be looking to come back after he retired this year.  He’s currently in a player development role with his former team, the Angels and if he did come back, it would be with the Angels.

While the Percival signing seemed decent at the time, it turned out pretty poorly because Percival was pretty ineffective when he pitched, and that wasn’t all that often, when he was with Detroit after signing a two year deal.  At one time though, he was one of the best closers in the game.

Tigers Hold Off Cardinals In 8-7 Win

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead by the third inning and it looked like we were going to have a repeat of the last night’s game.  The bad news is, the Cardinals made a game of it and even though the Tigers added two more runs, the Cardinals made a one run game out of it.  The good news is, the Tigers held on to win the game.

Nate Robertson had a solid start and he gave up two runs in five innings.  The pen didn’t do quite as well.  Wil Ledezma gave up two runs and Tim Byrdak gave up one before the game entered the ninth with a three run lead.  Todd Jones then gave up two runs in the ninth before buckling down with two runners on, finishing up the Cardinals and picking up the save.

Ivan Rodriguez had a huge three run homer in the win.  Sean Casey had another nice game and he went two for four with a run and Gary Sheffield belted his eighth homerun of the season.

Justin Verlander gets the start tomorrow and the Tigers try to finish up the sweep.  Brad Thompson will be the Tigers opposition.  I like our chances with his matchup.

Andrew Miller Gets Plenty of Support In First Major League Start

Andrew Miller had about as good of a first major league start as you could ask.  He gave up four hits and three walks with two strikeouts in six shutout innings.  Probably the most surprising thing about his start was his groundball to flyball ration (7 groundballs versus 9 flyballs) considering Miller is a pretty extreme ground ball pitcher.  I didn’t get a chance to watch the game and unfortunately they’re not replaying the game so I can’t tape it so I’m not quite sure what happened there.  Anyway, he kept the Cards off the board, which is the important thing.

With the Cardinals on the field, Sean Casey must have thought it was the World Series again because he killed the ball.  He went four for five with both two runs and two RBIs.  Placido Polanco doubled three times and drove in three while Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez each went yard in the 14-4 win.  The only Tiger regular who didn’t get a hit in the game was Craig Monroe and the only Tiger starter that didn’t score a run was Ivan Rodriguez.

The Indians won as well so the Tigers still sit a game out of first place.  Still, at 25-16, they have the third best record in the American League.  Tomorrow, it’ll be Nate Robertson going up against Anthony Reyes and it’s a night game.  I like that matchup and hopefully the Tigers will avenge their 2006 World Series game one loss to Reyes by knocking him out of the game early.

Wil Ledezma Struggles in Second Game Loss to Red Sox

Wil Ledezma had a tough time last night in the Tigers 4-2 loss to the Red Sox.  The end result was a series sweep and a series loss.  Ledezma came into the sixth inning with two runners on and he allowed one of the runs that went to Durbin to score.   He then gave up a two run homer to Eric Hinske in the seventh that sealed the game.  Speaking of Hinske, he made an awesome catch in the fifth inning in the corner to rob Mike Rabelo of a hit.

Curtis Granderson picked up two more hits and both were doubles.  Rabelo had a nice game with two hits and he also had the out stolen from him by Hinske.  Brandon Inge hit one just off the top of the Green Monster and it was the seventh time he’s gone yard this year.

Next up is interleague play, with a rematch of last year’s World Series between the Cardinals and the Tigers.  All eyes will be on Andrew Miller because he makes his first major league start of his career.  Braden Looper, who’s been the Cardinals best starter so far this year, takes the mound for the Cardinals.

Tigers Drop Afternoon Game to Red Sox

I didn’t expect to say this, but Zach Miner and Julian Tavarez locked up today and had quite the pitchers duel in the Tigers 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.  Miner was called up this morning to replace a sick Mike Maroth and despite struggling most of the season at Triple A, he gave the Tigers a chance to win today.  He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.  Even more impressive was Tim Byrdak, who struck out five of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings.  Even Jose Mesa got a couple of guys out.

Unfortuately, the hitting wasn’t there.  Placido Polanco drove in the only run for the Tigers and in total, there were just four hits and all of them were singles. 

We’ve still got one more game tonight and it’s Chad Durbin throwing against Curt Schilling.  It’s hard to believe that Durbin is 3-1 with his numbers but he has been pretty good in three of his last four starts.  And the Tigers have won the game five out of the seven times he’s taken the mound, which isn’t all bad.  Not too bad for a stopgap fifth starter.

Andrew Miller Gets Start on Friday

I picked this up from Mack Avenue Tigers.  The bad news is, Jeremy Bonderman hit the DL.  The interesting news is, Andrew Miller is going to start in his place.  Miller threw eight solid innings in his Erie debut lastweek so we’ll see how he does in his first major league start of his career.  Miller has the stuff, including a wicked slider, and he’s an extreme ground ball pitcher so hopefully the infield defense is up for the task on Friday.

Gary Sheffield – More Runs Then Hits

You can file this away as a mundane stat, but at this point in time, Gary Sheffield has more runs (33) then he does hits (32).  Rickie Weeks is the only hitter who’s close who’s near the top of the leader list.  He has 30 runs and 33 hits. 

That reminds me of one of favorite players as a teenager, Jim Walewander.  While he never really took off, he made his mark on the 1987 team when he was used a lot as a pinch runner.  He finished the season with just 13 hits but he scored 24 runs.  In fact, he’d get almost three times as many at bats in 1988, and he’d only score 23 times.  That 1988 season would cost him because he finished his career with 52 hits and 50 runs.  And in 1987, he was used a pinch runner fourteen times and he scored runs in ten of those instances.

More Rain

The Tigers had their third game postponed tonight.  The game will be made up tomorrow with a double header.  Game one will be at 12:35 (nine, since I’ll get to watch it) with game two coming at the normal 7:05 time slot.  The only downer is this game was supposed to be on ESPN and the national coverage would have been nice.

Tiger Trivia Challenge – Test Run

Alright, I need your help.  In order to have as few surprises as possible when I start my Tiger Trivia Challenge next Monday, I’m going to have a test run today so if you follow through with the instructions, I’d appreciate it.  This will also get you familiar with the format of the questions.  Anyway, here we go…..

Eight different Tigers have won 21 different American League batting titles.  In fact, for the Tigers first seven decades of the franchises existence, they had at least one player win a batting title in every decade.  That streak came to an end when no Tiger won the batting title in the 1970s, with the last winner being Norm Cash in 1961.

Only two Tigers have won multiple batting titles in their career as a Tiger.  Who are they?

Please send you answer to  Please include you answer as well as your favorite Detroit Tiger website/blog.  As a disclaimer, all trivia questions only include the Tigers as they’ve existed since 1901.  Any previous Detroit franchises are to be ignored with regard to these questions.


I got a few correct answers.  Ty Cobb and Harry Heilmann were the two Tigers to win multiple batting titles.  Thanks for your help with my test.

Curtis Granderson – This Year’s Harmon Killebrew?

Every week, Beyond the Boxscore publishes some very interesting awards and in this weeks edition, Curtis Granderson walks away with the Harmon Killebrew batting average is for wussies award.  Granderson has a decent .280 batting average yet he’s been very productive because he’s drawn his share of walks and gotten his share of extra base hits.  The end result is a .920 OPS, which puts him near the top of the list for centerfielders in the American League.

Tigers Even Series With Blowout Win Over Red Sox

It was the Magglio Ordonez and Justin Verlander show today.  Justin Verlander gave up an early run in the first inning but held the Red Sox scoreless until he gave up a solo homerun to Kevin Youkilis in the eighth inning.  And Magglio Ordonez gave the Tigers all of the offense they’d need with a three run homer in the third inning.  Brandon Inge also went yard in the third inning with a solo shot and Gary Sheffield singled, drew a walk and scored twice in the 7-2 win.

Verlander struck out a season high seven batters in his third straight win.  He didn’t give up a single free pass and he gave up just six hits in what was probably Verlander’s best start since he threw seven shutout innings back in early April.

Tomorrow, it’ll be the two back end starters going head to head with Mike Maroth taking on Julian Tavarez.  Even in Tavarez’ one win, he didn’t look all that great so I like our chances in this one if Mike Maroth can hold the Red Sox in check.

Ty and the Babe Out Today

Tom Stanton’s latest book, Ty and the Babe, was released today.  I had a chance to read it while we were on vacation and I loved and if you have any interest in Ty Cobb, this is a must read because it’s dispels some of the myths that are out there about Cobb.  If you want more information on the book, you can check out Billfer’s review and I also had a chance to interview Mr. Stanton and you’ll find that at the Hardball Times tomorrow.  And in addition, you can check out Tom Stanton’s website because he’s blogging about his road show and it’s a fun read.

Dice-K Too Much For Tigers

Things started off well enough.  Curtis Granderson hit a solo homerun in the top of the third inning to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead but from then on, the Tigers didn’t put up much of a fight at the plate and the game will go in the record books as the first complete game of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s major league career.  Granderson was the only Tiger to pick up two hits and nobody earned a free pass in this one. 

Magglio Ordonez did hit his nineteenth double, which ties him with Chase Utley for the lead in both leagues.  His previous career high was in 2002 with the White Sox when he hit 47.

Nate Robertson took it on the chin and he dropped to 3-3 on the season.  He gave up three runs on eleven hits. Tim Byrdak made his Tiger debut and he threw two scoreless frames but Bobby Seay wasn’t as luck and he gave up four runs in just the one inning he worked.

Tomorrow, it’ll be Tim Wakefield going up against Justin Verlander.  Everytime I see Wakefield’s name, I think of the game he threw against the Tigers way back in 2004 when the Tigers hit six homeruns against him yet Wakefield still picked up the win because Nate Robertson was pummelled.

Ordonez Owns Red Sox Pitching

More fun from the Tigers Press Pass for today’s game.  Magglio Ordonez leads all active players with a career .411 OBP and .611 slugging percentage against Red Sox pitching in his career.  Of course he’s never faced Dice-K before so we’ll see how that goes.  Ordonez is also second among active players with a .358 batting average at Fenway Park.

The Tigers aren’t settling for the singles this year.  They lead the American League with 11 triples and 135 extra base hits this season.  They’re second in the AL with 84 doubles and fourth with 40 homeruns. 

Nate Robertson, tonight’s starter, has done particularly well against David Ortiz.  While the sample size is small, Ortiz has just one hit off of Robertson in fourteen at bats.  The only pitcher who Ortiz hits worse against (and who he has at least 15 plate appearances) is Ricardo Rincon.

As expected, Virgil Vasquez was sent back down to Toledo and left handed reliever Tim Byrdak was called up in his place.  Byrdak has struck out 25 in 20 innings so hopefully this will give the Tigers another quality left handed option out of the pen.

Fifth Third Cubed?

Dave Dombrowski made a trip over the weekend to see how the White Caps pitchers were doing.  While this isn’t too amazing, I was interested to note that the White Caps play in Fifth Third Ballpark.  Which I guess is different from Fifth Third Field, which is the home of the Toledo Mudhens and then there’s the Fifth Third Field that the Reds Low A affiliate plays in at Dayton.  Does Fifth Third Bank have a handle on anymore midwest minor league ball parks out there?   I guess there’s no rule against them having multiple stadiums under sponsorship, but it’s pretty confusing.  Then again, I always used to get Fulton County Stadium and County Stadium mixed up quite a bit.

Ten Days, Ten Questions and a Way To Help Out Your Favorite Tiger Website

Alright, I’ve been throwing around ideas in my head regarding this for a while and I think I’m going to finally pull the trigger.  Beginning next Monday, May 21, I’m going to start a ten day Tiger triva challenge.  Basically how it’s going to work is, I’ll be posting a question at the top of an hour at some point between noon and ten pm of that given day.  You then have one hour to send an email (I’ll provide the address) with the answer to the question as well as a mention of your favorite Tiger site (excluding mine, although we all know there’s better one’s out there).  This will go on through Friday, then we’ll skip the weekend and start back up the following business week and that’ll make up the ten days.  Whoever answers the most questions wins the prize, and if there’s a tie, then we’ll have a sudden death playoff the following week.

I kept flipping on prize ideas and I was set on adding to the winners baseball library, but then I figured that everyone’s reading habits aren’t the same as mine so I got to thinking what everyone would want.  I came to the conclusion that cash would be the best prize so first place not only gets bragging rights, but they also walk away with $50.

Rule number one (and bear with me ) is if you’re a Tiger blogger, you’re not allowed to take part in the contest.  Now that may seem a bit cruel, but bear with me because you have a role in this as well.  I know this will be impossible to enforce, but I’m hoping all of the Tiger bloggers to the honor system because they can win some cash too.  Basically, the favorite Tiger site of the winner also walks away with $50 so there’s something in it for all of the Tiger bloggers out there.  Plus you get bragging rights because you can say you have the most knowledgeable fans. 

That’s it in a nutshell. If you have any questions, send me an email or post a comment because we have a week to hash things out.  Also, this is a precursor to something I have planned this offseason so hopefully it works out.

Throw Away Day

It would have made a great story.  Jeremy Bonderman misses his start and sleeper prospect Virgil Vasquez comes in and makes the best of his chance in his major league debut.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and Vasquez was knocked around for six innings and he didn’t finish the third inning.  Even worse, all three Tiger relievers who came into the game gave up at least three runs each.  This game checked in at over 3:30 and unless you were a Twins fan, it wasn’t very exciting.  As you can see from the Win Probability gragh, this game was pretty much over by the fourth inning.

Magglio Ordonez hit homerun number seven and his RBI total is now up to 34.  That’s good for second in the American League and Ordonez is slowly creeping up to Alex Rodriguez at 39. 

Hopefully the pitching comes around because we’ll need it with four games at Fenway Park.  Record wise, the Tigers and Red Sox are the two best teams in the American League so this should be a pretty publicized battle.  Nate Robertson will take the mound tonight and the Tigers will see Daisuke Matsuzaka for the first time.  Wednesday’s game is on ESPN and all four games are evening games.  Once I get the press pass, I’ll flip through it and let you know if there’s anything interesting in there.  Also, I’m hoping to give you the details on the trivia contest I’m going to start, most likely next week.

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