Archive for August, 2007

Indians and Yankees

The Tigers dropped their finale against the A’s last night and they settled for a 2-2 split in their four game series.  This time it was a rough outing by Chad Durbin that cost the Tigers.  He was tagged for six runs on six hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.  The pen actually did a nice job in this one (4 2/3 innings, just one run) but the six runs given up by Durbin were too much for the Tigers to come back from.

Magglio Ordonez drove in both Tiger runs with a two run single in the first inning and that brings his RBI total up to 104.  The Tigers managed just four hits as Chad Gaudin of all people shut them down.  In all, there were fourteen Tiger strikeouts with Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge leading the way at three a piece.

Congratulations to Placido Polanco for breaking an impressive fielding record.  He’s now played in 144 straight games without giving up an error, and that breaks the previous mark set by Luis Castillo that was just set earlier this year.  And this isn’t a hollow mark either because he’s done it while compiling the third highest zone rating amongst second baseman in the American League.  Last year he finished second in zone rating and Polanco’s defense, until he began to approach this record, was one of the more under-appreciated assets of his game.

Joel Zumaya made his first rehab appearance since coming back form surgery on his middle finger.  He pitched 2/3 of an inning and he gave up a hit while striking out one.

The Tigers jump right into the fire with two weeks of critical games.  They play two against the Indians beginning tonight with C.C. Sabathia taking the mound for the Indians and Jerem Bonderman throwing for the Tigers.  Jair Jurrjens will make his major league debut on Wednesday so he’ll definitely be thrown right into the fire.  Then it’s four against the Wild Card leading New York Yankees with another four game series against the Yanks the following weekend and a three game series against the Indians sandwiched between them.  As it stands, the Tigers are a game back of the Yankees and they’re tied with the Indians so this is the time for the Tigers to catch fire and get it done.

Tigers Trade Jack Hannahan to Oakland

The Tigers traded minor league second baseman Jack Hannahan to the Athletics for an upspecified Triple A player.  Hannahan has had a solid season for the Mud Hens but like a lot of players on that team, he’s well past the point of being considered a prospect (he turned 27 in March).  I picked this up from the radio and they didn’t know who the Tigers were going to get but the speculation was that it would be someone from the A’s Triple A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats.


As Chris indicates, the Tigers received Jason Perry in a trade.  Perry plays left field, which the Tigers view as one of their greatest needs.  It’s a low risk move though and it’ll be interesting to see how Perry fits into the mix.  There’s also speculation that Cameron Maybin could be brought up sooner rather then later but for it looks like idle speculation.

Magglio Ordonez Belts Two Homers in Same Inning In Tigers Win

Magglio Ordonez became just the second player in Tigers history to hit two homeruns in the same inning.  He led off the second inning with a solo shot to right field and then he capped off the eight run inning with a big three run shot to left center.  I was at the game and that second homerun was of the no doubt about it variety.  The only other Tiger to hit two homers in the same inning was Al Kaline.  He did it back on April 17, 1955 and it was also against the Athletics, they just happened to be in Kansas City at the time.  Of course you would have known this had you taken part in my trivia challenge back in May.

The A’s sort of made a game of this one though.  They pulled to within four with a two run fourth and then they threatened in the sixth but the Tigers just kept piling on the runs.  Brandon Inge singled, drew a walk, drove in two and scored twice.  Ryan Raburn singled, triple and scored twice.

Nate Robertson pitched into the sixth inning and he improved to 7-9.  He gave up four runs on five hits and five walks with six strikeouts.  Yorman Bazardo threw some nice relief as he was to join the big league club in what’s been a revolving door bullpen.  He gave up just one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout in 2 2/3 innings.  Bazardo came up in April to pitch some but since then, he’s been doing a nice job in Toledo.

The Indians lost again so the Tigers are now back in first place in the Central.  They can make that lead a full game if they win tonight in the wrap around game against the A’s.  It’ll be Chad Durbin going up against Chad Gaudin.  Then it’s a couple of rough weeks with a combined thirteen games all against the Indians and the Yankees.

Athletics Blowout Tigers In Crazy Game

I almost turned this game off and in a way, I should have.  The A’s jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead off of Jordan Tata and Jason Grilli and things looked to be over with pretty early in the fourth inning.  Then the Tigers stormed back and scored eight runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth and the bottom of the fifth to take a one run lead only to have the A’s answer with eight runs in the top of the sixth to open the game up.

The pitching was bad once again.  Tata was tagged for seven runs and Macay McBride and Zach Miner were bounced for four runs each.  The only Tiger pitcher who didn’t give up a run was Fernando Rodney, who threw a shutout ninth inning.

Marcus Thames belted a grand slam for his twelth homer of the season.  Magglio Ordonez went three for five with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs.  Curtis Granderson came one step closer to making history with his 18th triple of the season.  With Ordonez’s three hits, he once again took the lead in the batting race.

The Indians lost as did the Mariners but the Yankees won (the Yankees are playing the Indians this weekend). So the Tigers now sit a game back of the Mariners and Yankees for the Wild Card and a game and a half back of the Yankees.  The Blue Jays have now won two straight and they’ve put themselves ahead of the Twins in the Wild Card chase. 

Game two is tonight and it’ll be Dan Haren going up against Justin Verlander.  The two squared off a couple of weeks ago with Haren getting the better end of the deal.

Devil Rays and Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin was bumped up to Double A yesterday but his debut was pushed back because of a rain delay.  It’ll be interesting to see what the outfielder can do now that he’s playing a more hitter friendly league.  I expect a few more homers then what he’s done of late but then again, the jump to Double A is one of the toughest so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts.

The Tigers lost yesterday and managed just a split against the Devil Rays.  They did get a little unlucky because they saw both James Shields and Scott Kazmir but when you factor in the fact it was a four game series, you’d almost have to expect to see that.  Jeremy Bonderman’s struggles have been particularly troubling as he’s dropped and been roughed up in four straight starts.  At this point, Bonderman’s close to touching a 5.00 ERA, something he hasn’t done since early in 2006.  Bonderman just seems very hittable.  He’s given up at least eight hits a start in his last five and his batting average against is a pedestrian .273.  Last year’s was .259.

The Tigers managed just a single run on an RBI single by Omar Infante and that wasn’t until the seventh inning.  Marcus Thames went two for four and he scored in his first game back from a rehab assignment and Placido Polanco, with his two hits, passed Magglio Ordonez in the batting race and he sits just a point back of Ichiro for the batting title.

The Indians won so the Tigers fell back another game in the Central.  It looks like Travis Hafner is going to be on the shelf so they have injury concerns of their own.  Don’t count out the Twins though, who sit five games back of Detroit.  They’ve been playing .500 ball, but that’s been good enough to pick up some ground on the Tigers.  In the Wild Card, the Tigers loss puts them in a tie with the Yankees a game back of the Mariners (two losses).  The Tigers can take care of business the next two weeks when they go head to head with the Yankees and Indians.  The Tigers still have a series with the Mariners in September so they can help out there cause there as well.

Next up is a wrap around series against the Athletics.  I’ll be at the game on Sunday.  Game one will have Jordan Tata going up aganst Joe Blanton tonight and the most interesting matchup is tomorrow.  Justin Verlander will get a rematch against Dan Haren in a battle of two guys contending for the Cy Young.

Mariners Tie Tigers In Wild Card Race

After a couple of wins, the Tigers dropped one to the Devil Rays last night and in the process, they lost sole possession of first place in the Wild Card race after the Mariners won last night.  The Tigers have a slight lead as far as winning percentage, but they’re a game back in the more important loss column so this slide hasn’t just cost them the division lead, it’s cost them a nice cushion for a playoff spot in general.

Chad Durbin got off to a rough start and he didn’t even last the official five innings.  He gave up two runs in the first and then he loaded the bases up in the fifth.  Macay McBride allowed one of those runners to score and then he gave up two more of his own in the sixth as the Rays opened the game up.  In the mean time, James Shields was shutting down the Tigers hitters.

The Tigers lone run came on a Placido Polanco solo homerun in the fourth inning.  Polanco was also the only Tiger hitter with two hits.  The Tigers struck out thirteen times and didn’t walk once in a tough day at the plate.

Game four is this afternoon and it’ll be a great matchup of two young pitchers in Scott Kazmir against Jeremy Bonderman.  Game time is 1:05.

Crazy Eights and Barry Bonds

I was up north for a few days this week and the cabin I stayed in didn’t even come with a television and the newspapers didn’t even have the Tiger score from the night before (everything is a day behind in the paper up there) so it was kind of weird being so out of touch.  It was a good time thought and my son really enjoyed the time in the water but I got back in time to see some of the Tigers game last night but I was unpacking and getting squared away but I was happy to see the 6-1 lead.  Then I turned the game on in the eighth only to see it tied and was annoyed but I was fortunate enough to see the Tigers score three to take the lead back.

Nate Robertson threw six solid frames to open up the game but then he gave up a run in the seventh before the floodgates opened in the eighth.  Jason Grilli was particularly hit hard.  He gave up four hits, including a grand slam by Jonny Gomes, and he was credited with three earned runs without getting a single batter out.  Todd Jones put a runner on in the ninth but he picked up save number thirty and Tim Byrdak got the final out in the eighth and he picked up his first save of the season.

Curtis Granderson went two for four with is thirtieth double, an RBI and two runs.  He was also caught stealing for just the first time this season.  Magglio Ordonez went three for five and he hit the only homer for the Tigers and Placido Polanco kept pace with him in the batting race with three hits of his own.  The only Tiger starter not to get a hit was Craig Monroe.

Congratulations to Barry Bonds for getting homerun number 756.  I know there’s all of the controversy, but you have a guy who’s definitely amongst the top five hitters ever and he’s not going to get his due because of the juice.  Regardeless, those who attended last night’s Giant’s game got to see a slice of history and it’ll now be interesting to see if Bonds can stick around long enough to get to 800.

The Indians have matched the Tigers two straight wins so Detroit still sits a win back of the Indians.  The Yankees won their fifth straight and they’re a loss back of Detrot for the Wild Card with the Mariners a loss behind the Yankees.  So things are tight and even these games against the bad teams like the Devil Rays are important.  Tonight, it’ll be Chad Durbin going up against James Shields.  Durbin gets the start for Miller, who’s on the disabled list because of the hamstring injury.  Shields got off to a nice start to open the season and while he hasn’t gotten a lot of run support, he’s also been shelled at times.  Hopefully the Tigers can make it three in a row with another win.

Tigers Fall From First After Another Loss

Jeremy Bonderman struggled for the third straight start and while he gave the Tigers seven innings, he once again buried himself a hole that the Tigers were unable to get out of.  Four first inning runs put the White Sox in the lead early and for good and two more in the third sealed the deal.  Bonderman dropped to 10-4 and in these last three starts (all losses), he’s seen his ERA climb from 3.53 to 4.50.

Placido Polanco picked up two more hits and he scored twice.  One of the two hits was his sixth homerun of the season and Polanco now trails Magglio Ordonez by just three points in the batting title race with Ichiro still sandwiched between the two of the them.  Sean Casey went two for four with a double, a run and an RBI.

The Tigers try to avoid the sweep this afternoon.  It’ll be a pair of rookies going at it with Jordan Tata getting the start for the Tigers and Gavin Floyd throwing for the Sox.  The Tigers roughed up Floyd in that five gave series a week and a half ago so hopefully they can shell him again.

The Indians won so the Tigers now sit a half game back of them.  And there’s no longer much of a cushion for the Wild Card race as the Tigers sit just a half game ahead of the Mariners and a game and a half ahead of the Yankees.

Andrew Miller Hurts Hamstring In Another Tiger Loss

Well, it definitely wasn’t home sweet home as the Tiger started a big homestand with a loss to the White Sox.  Andrew Miller was roughed up for six runs and then he came out in the fifth inning after hurting his hamstring.  The pen did a nice enough job with two shutout innings a piece from Macay McBride and Zach Miner but the hitters couldn’t get their bats going to pull off a comeback.  The big hit was a fourth inning grand slam by White Sox Juan Uribe.  Miller’s injury was called a mild strain and he’s day to day.

Magglio Ordonez had a nice game against his former team and he went three for four with his 39th double, two RBIs and a run.  He’s now back in front of Ichiro for the batting title with a .352 batting average.  No other Tiger had more the one hit.

Neifi Perez’s suspension for using amphetimines was bumped up to 80 games after he tested positive again.  The Tigers seem pretty persistent about replacing him with his clone, Jack Wilson, but the deal hasn’t happened yet and I’m hoping someone comes back down to earth and realizes that Wilson isn’t particularly needed.

It’ll be Jeremy Bonderman against Javier Vasquez tonight.  Vasquez handled us in Chicago pretty nicely last week and hopefully Bonderman can bounce back from that rough start he had against the Angels.

Agent Bly on Burn Notice

Alright, this has absolutely nothing to do with baseball, but I just got done watching the latest episode of Burn Notice.  I talked about this before, but I’m a big Bruce Campbell fan and he’s on the show.  Anyway, the main character on Burn Notice, Mike, has a new government agent following him around Miami and making his life difficult.  At the end of the show, the agent’s name was revealed as Bly (Jason Bly).  This is either a huge coincidence or a neat twist because the name of the primary bad guy in the Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., which starred Bruce Campbell, was John Bly.  I’d love to know if this was Campbell having some fun and getting the Bly name in there.

Tigers Lose Finale to Athletics

The Tigers finished their road trip with a whimper and for a team that had the best road record, a 3-8 road trip was pretty uncharacteristic of the team.  It’s unfortunate too because Nate Robertson, while not great, threw a decent enough game.  He gave up just three runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts in six innings.  Bobby Seay got into trouble in the eighth but he got some help from Jason Grilli.  That just stopped the game from getting out of hand though.

Once again, the Tigers bats were held in check and they managd just seven hits.  Placido Polanco went two for three with a walk, a double and a run to lead the way for the Tigers.  Magglio Ordonez singled, drew two walks, drove in a run and scored.

Now Gary Sheffield is complaing of a sore shoulder and to round out the bad news, as I speculated, the potential trade for Jack Wilson is alive and well.  The Tigers open up a three game series against the White Sox at home beginning tomorrow.  Andrew Miller gets the ball and he’ll face Mark Buehrle so we’ll have a battle of the left handers.

No Deal and Tigers Lose Ugly to Oakland

The Tigers didn’t pull the trigger on a deal although there was some speculation that a team backed out at the last minute.  I mentioned this yesterday, but if it was for Jack Wilson, I’m glad the deal fell through because I don’t really see how he could have helped the team other then as a late inning defensive replacement, and even then the value is pretty spotty.  The big winner in the American League was probably the Red Sox, who shored up their pen so they added and I’m also still worried about the Yankees.  They sit on the fringe of the Wild Card race and they have Philip Hughes coming back and Joba Chamberlain coming up and both will probably help out quite a bit.

One last note on Jack Wilson, and that’s the fact that, unfortunately, the deal still could go through.  Neifi Perez cleared waivers and we were able to trade for him after the first deadline and I’m sure Wilson would do the same.  So we’re not out of the water there yet.

The Tigers scored three runs in the first two frames but were held scoreless the rest of the way and their defense gave away some runs in a 7-3 loss to Oakland.  Justin Verlander dropped to 11-4 with a mediocre start and both Macay McBride and Jason Grilli gave up runs out of the pen (both of Grilli’s runs were unearned).  The big inning was the sixth when a Carlos Guillen error put the leadoff hitter on.  Then it went downhill from there and four singles and a walk later, the A’s had the lead for good.

Last year, one of the Tiger’s strengths was their defense.  This year, their defense, at least measured by Defensive Efficiency (Tigers have .691 compared to league average .690), is pretty average.  This is one of the reasons the Tigers back end starters are struggling because the defense isn’t there all the time to pick them up.

Sean Casey went two for four with a double, a run and an RBI to lead the way for the Tigers at the plate.  Carlos Guillen went two for four with a run.  To the Tigers credit, while they were shut down, it was by one of the best pitchers in the AL in Dan Haren.

The rubber game is this afternoon and it’ll be Nate Robertson against rookie Dallas Braden.  Dallas Braden is a lefthander who had a nice debut start, he’s just lost six straight since then.  Hopefully the Tigers can jump all over him and put up some early runs.

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