Archive for June, 2007

Tigers Take Rick Porcello In First Round

The Tigers took right handed pitcher Rick Porcello with their first round draft pick this afternoon.  This is a little big of a change because he’s the first high school pitcher the Tigers have taken in the first round in a while although he looks like a good one.  He was rated as the top high school pitcher in the draft and, just like Dave Dombrowski likes them, he’s a hard thrower and pitches in the mid-90s and he has four pitches.  He’s tall at 6’5″ but he’s pretty thin for his height (188 lbs.).  This could definitely be a guy who, once he fills out, is a stud on the mound.  They’re saying he’s potentially the best high school pitcher to come out of the draft since Josh Beckett, who was another player Dave Dombrowski drafted when he was with the Marlins.

Then again, you always have some risks with high school pitchers because you never know how they’re going to turn out.  It’s a high risk, high reward pick and once again, Dave Dombrowski has shown that he’s ready to take the best player available when his number is called in the draft.  Also, it’s another Scott Boras pick, and so far, Dombrowski has been able to get the job done with the top agent in baseball.

Nate Robertson Out, Andrew Miller Up

Nate Robertson hit the DL with a tired arm.  Will Carroll didn’t mention anything about this so I’m not sure if it’s just that he’s been pitching like he’s hurt so they’re giving him some time off or that something is wrong and they’re checking it out.  Anyway, we should call Andrew Miller Mr Friday because he’s making his second career start tomorrow.  He’s been doing very well at Erie and he had that nice game for the Tigers a few weeks ago.  I’m going to get to watch most of this game too, unlike his last start, which I missed.

Chris brought up an interesting point in a comment to my last post.  Magglio Ordonez is on a wicked double pace (29) and even if he falls short of the record, 60 is well within his reach based on his start.  The last player to hit 60 doubles was Charlie Gehringer and Joe Medwick way back in 1936.  The Tiger team record is 63, which was set by Hank Greenberg in 1934.  The 1930s were the year of the double.  There have been six instances where a player has hit 60 doubles and five of those happened in the 1930s, including Earl Webb’s record 67 in 1931.


Scratch the Mr. Friday thing.  It looks like Miller is pitching on Sunday.

Gary Sheffield Homers Twice In Tigers Blowout Win

A lot of people asked me whether the Tigers made a good trade when they picked up Gary Sheffield and from the get go, I’d always given an emphatic yes.  Yeah, he had the rough April but Sheffield has always been able to rake and I knew it was just a matter of time before he got going.  In May, he picked things up and now in June, he’s looking like one of a few MVP candidates on the Tigers team.

Sheffield finished the day three for four with a two homeruns and five RBIs.  He’s raised his batting average up to .272 and OPS is now above .900 for the first time this year.  Hopefully it’s there to stay.

Curtis Granderson hit his tenth triple of the season last night.  He’d need nine more to just get into the top ten Tiger seasons (and it’s a list dominated by Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford), but that’s definitely within reach.  Only five hitters in the last 50 years have hit 20 triples in a season (Christian Guzman was the last back in 2000) and nobody has hit more then 21 (Lance Johnson in 1996 and Willie Wilson in 1985).  Kiki Cuyler was the last hitter to rack up 25 triples and that was way back in 1925 so Granderson has a chance to really do something special this year.

Lost in all of the offense was a great start by Justin Verlander.  He gave the Tigers seven innings and after some of the work the relievers got yesterday, this is just what the Tigers needed.  He gave up five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings and he improved to 5-2 on the season.

Tonight’s the rubber game and it’ll be Mike Maroth against Kameron Loe.  Loe’s had a tough time this season and he’s dropped his last five starts so hopefully this is another guy the Tigers can jump all over.

Tigers Comeback Falls Short In Loss to Rangers

Nate Robertson had the worst start of his career last night in a tough loss.  He gave up five runs and he left a guy at third before getting pulled without getting a single batter out.  A sac. fly later with Jason Grilli on the mound and Robertson was tagged with six runs on six hits.  He saw his ERA balloon from 4.25 to 5.07 and he’s now falled to 4-6 on the season after a pretty nice April.

Give the bullpen some credit in this one because they at least gave the Tigers the chance to come back.  Grilli threw four shutout innings and Zach Miner pitched two.  Tim Byrdak threw a shutout seventh and it wasn’t until the eighth inning when the Rangers finally scored another run off of Fernando Rodney.

What was most disappointing was that this was a game the Tigers should have won because they were essentially going up against a Triple A pitcher.  And while they did knock John Rheinecker out early, it wasn’t enough to come back from that rough first inning.

Brandon Inge had a nice day at the plate. He went two for four with a homerun, two RBIs and two runs.  Gary Sheffield drew three walks, one of which was with the bases loaded and Omar Infante continued to hit the ball well by going two for four with a walk.  He’s now hitting .325 on the season and he gave Curtis Granderson a night off against the leftie starter.

Tonight, it’ll be Justin Verlander going up against Kevin Millwood and his 6.69 ERA.  I like our chances although Millwood has been pretty good against the Tigers in the past (45 2/3 inning, 3.15 ERA, 1.14 WHIP).

Tomorrow is the baseball draft and the first few rounds are going to be on ESPN2.  It’s the first time a portion of the draft has been televised and I’m interested in seeing what kind of analysis they’ll have.

And it took some work, but the 1967 AL Pennant Race site is up to date.  Tigers are in first, at least for the time being.  Although the Al Kaline injury is coming up later in the month and that puts a damper on things.

Sean Casey – All Star?

It looks like Tiger fans have been hitting the All Star ballot box.  Ivan Rodriguez leads all catchers, which isn’t a huge surprise but Placido Polanco has made some gains on Robinson Cano.  Probably the most surprising was Sean Casey, who’s in fifth place for first basemen.  He’s well back of the lead but just 23,000 votes behind fourth place Travis Hafner.  For all the details, be sure to check out the All Star Game Blog.

Addition By Subtraction

Jose Mesa was released today.  It says a lot because the Tigers pen had been doing pretty poorly so for them to but bait on him now goes a long way towards showing how poorly he pitched.  It’s also nice for Dombrowski to realize his mistake and cut bait.  Mesa shouldn’t have been signed but at least now he won’t be a poor option coming out of the pen.

In his place, Fernando Rodney was pulled off of the DL.  Hopefully Rodney can get back into his 2006 form, sans the walks.

Tigers Salvage Split With Indians and the Wonders of Tivo

The Tigers bounced back nicely after the rough ending to their game on Friday, and after winning their last two, they salvaged a split with the Indians.  They got it all this afternoon with a ton of hitting and some great pitching by Jeremy Bonderman.  Bondo gave up a two run homer in the first inning to the red hot Victor Martinez but then he didn’t give up his next hit until the seventh inning in the 9-2 win.  The win improves Bonderman’s record to a still perfect 5-0 and Bonderman is off to his best start to a season in his young career.

Gary Sheffield put the Tigers on the board in the first inning with a two run homer, his thirteenth long ball of the season.  He finished the game with two hits and a walk with three runs.  Ivan Rodriguez had another solid game with two singles and two runs while Craig Monroe doubled twice.  Even Sean Casey, who’s been red hot himself, went one for two with two RBIs.  Casey now has a ten game hitting streak that’s pushed his batting average from .248 to .282.  Of course he still hasn’t picked up that first homerun yet.

The Twins lost so the Tigers sit 2 1/2 games back of the Indians and three ahead of the Twins.  The Tigers have a day off tomorrow and they play in Texas against the Rangers on Tuesday.  The Rangers have the worst record in all of baseball so this is a series we have to take.  The Indians also play a last place team with a three game series against the Royals.  Nate Robertson gets the starter in the opener on Tuesday and he’ll face Vincente Padilla.

I bought a Tivo about a month ago and while it was more so we could tape my wife’s shows, I used it to tape this afternoon’s game.  I was able to cram all 3 1/2 hours of game (excluding that rain delay) into about an hour and a half of actual viewing time.  The only downer was, I had to be constantly on the remote and couldn’t do anything else.  Still, I’ll probably do this for the west coast games when I don’t stay up to watch the games.

Deja Vu For Todd Jones

Last year, from May 30 through June 14, Todd Jones had about as tough of a stretch as I’ve ever seen a closer have.  From that point on, he threw fairly well but during that stretch, four Tigers’ losses fell on his shoulders.  It looks like Todd Jones is going through a similar stretch beginning with May 28th’s game against the Rays.  I’m not quite sure why Jones was left in there other then that Leyland must have thought Jones was still his best option.  There’s not a lot of argument that the pen is in rough shape and until Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney come back, things will be dicey.  The best way to get back on track is to pick up a win tonight.

The Twins are getting hot and they now trail the Tigers by just one game in the loss column with the White Sox right on their heels.  If the Indians start rolling, those three teams could all be in the middle of the Wild Card race so like we all thought, it’s going ot be an interesting season in the Central.

Congratulations to freqent commenter Ryan Cassidy for winning the trivia challenge.  He chose Beck’s Blog as his favorite site and Jason Beck was nice enough to donate his winnings to charity.  Ryan won the contest by answering four of the ten questions correctly.

It’s Chad Durbin going up against Cliff Lee tonight.  They’ll be competing with the Pistons/Cavs game.

The All Star Game Is Coming Soon

The baseball season is nearing the halfway point and that means the All Star Game.  While it’s not close to being what it once was, I always enjoy the game.  You always know there will be at least one Tiger on the team and this year is the first time in a long time that the Tigers’ manager is going to have a say in who makes the team.  So if a guy like Placido Polanco falls short in the voting, you know it’ll pretty much be a certainty that he’ll make the team as a reserve.

I always wonder how much sports betting there is on the All Star game.  I’m not a gambler, but one of the things I did as a kid was bet my mom on the game.  I’d always take the American League, and back then, they lost more times then not so I’d always be a nickel short come the next morning.  The one game I remember very well was the 1987 All Star Game, that was an exciting thirteen innings.  And they didn’t even run out of pitchers.

Tigers Trivia Challenge – Question Number Ten

Alright, this is the final question.  Tom Seaver holds the record with ten consecutive strikeouts in a game.  The Tiger record is seven consecutive strikeouts, which is held by two different Tigers.

Here’s the question – Who are the two Tigers who hold the team record with seven consecutive strikeouts in a game?

It’s now 7 pm so you have until 8 pm on June 1, 2007 to send your answer, as well the name of your favorite Tiger site, to For more information on the rules and the trivia contest, please click here.

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