Well, the Tigers chance to win 90 is now gone after losing to the White Sox last night. Kenny Rogers had a rough start but the highlight of the day was another solid game by Magglio Ordonez. One of his two hits was his 53rd double and he drove in his 137th run of the season. Just as important, he boosted his batting average to .360 and he has a ten point lead over Ichiro, all but locking up the batting title.
It should be a very interesting weekend in the National League. The Cubs finally locked up their division and the Diamondbacks clinched a playoff spot but four teams are still vying for those final two playoff spots. The Padres and the Phillies have the upper hand though.
The Tigers won last night in an odd, rain shortened game but they were also eliminated from playoff contention as the Yankees blew out the Devil Rays to clinch up the Wild Card. As a Tiger fan though, it’s hard to be too disappointed and in a way, I think they go their seasons crossed over and 2007 really should have happened in 2006 and vice versa. I know I got spoiled by what happened in 2006 too but if the Tigers win out, they’ll finish with 90 wins. The last time they had back to back 90 win seasons was 1983-1984. They played meaningful baseball in mid-September when just two years ago, that’s all we were asking for.
In addition, making the playoffs is tough. I know that sounds simple but look at the Tigers near 20 year drought before 2006. Teams can be good (i.e. the Tigers through most of the 1980s), but just miss the playoffs for several years so hopefully, this is just a bump in the road and they can get back in the mix next year.
On the game, it rained pretty much the entire time. The Twins jumped all over Jair Jurrjens for four runs in the first and the Tigers scored three in the second before the rain delay. I was out in left field so it’s hard to tell how a pitcher is throwing, but Johan Santana walked home a run and I don’t think he brought his best stuff in a game that, for him, didn’t matter. The Tigers got to face a new pitcher after a long rain delay and they jumped all over rookie Nick Blackburn for six runs. The Twins shot themselves in the foot with some errors too (and some hits that should have been errors). After five innings and change, the tarp came back on and once the Yankees finished their game over the Rays, it was called an official game.
Magglio Ordonez is hitting .359 and Ichiro seems to be stuck at .350. This is one of the few remaining stories for the Tigers while Placido Polanco picked up one hit leaving him with 196. Mike Hessman was the hitting star and he went two for three with his fourth homerun and four RBIs.
It’s a day off today, then three in Chicago. This is the last Tigers baseball we’ll be getting so I’ll be sure to tune in.
The Tigers kept their slim playoff hopes alive in a beatdown over the Twins. Yorman Bazardo was the star on the pitching side and he threw seven shutout innings to improve to 2-1. Joel Zumaya and Chad Durbin both threw a shutout frame to close out the game.
Curtis Granderson picked up his 23rd triple of the season. The last time a player had 23 triples was 1949 when the Indians Dale Mitchell hit the mark. It also puts Curtis Granderson tied for fifth with Sam Crawford and Ty Cobb for the single season triple mark.
Magglio Ordonez belted his 52nd triple and that puts him fifth on the Tigers single season doubles list. Ordonez also homered and with the two hits, he brought hit batting average up to .359. That gives him a somewhat comfortable nine point lead for the batting title. He also drove in three runs to bring his season total up to 136.
With the Yankees ten inning loss, the Tigers still have a very slim chance to tie for the Wild Card. Tonight, it’ll be Johan Santana going up against Jair Jurrjens.
The Tigers still aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but they’d need a downright miracle at this point as the Yankees magic number for the Wild Card is now down to just one. Carlos Silva and the Twins pen held the Tigers to just six singles and a double in a 2-0 shutout loss.
The one double came off of the bat of Magglio Ordonez, which gives him 51 on the season. That puts Ordonez by himself at fifth place on the Tigers single season doubles list. Two different Tigers have racked up 60 doubles in a season. The team record is 63 set by Hank Greenberg back in 1934 and just two years later, Charlie Gehringer belted 60 in 1936. Still, it’s the most doubles since George Kell hit 56 back in 1950.
Nate Robertson took another hard luck loss. He gave up just a single run on three hits and four walks with six strikeouts in seven solid frames. Fernando Rodney gave up a run in the ninth, his second inning of work, but it was an insurance run by the Twins that they didn’t end up needing.
One thing I forgot to mention was that on Sunday, the Tigers won their 85th game. It’s the first time since 1987-1988 that they’ve had back to back seasons with 85 wins or more. Tonight, it’ll be Yorman Bazardo going up against Matt Garza to try to make it 86.
The Indians clinched the American League Central over the weekend and the Yankees magic number is down to two for the Wild Car. At this point, the Tigers need to win their remaining six games AND have the Yankee lose their remaining seven to win the Wild Card outright. They can lose or the Yankees can win once if they want a one game playoff but I expect the Tigers to be mathematically eliminated tomorrow.
Not that yesterday’s win wasn’t a solid one. The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. The four run first was capped off by a two run homer by Marcus Thames, his first of two on the day. Ryan Raburn also made a nice contribution and he went two for four with a double, two RBIs and two runs. Thames second homer of the day came in the third inning and that brought his season total up to 17.
Justin Verlander won his eighteenth game of the season with a nice outing. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings. Bobby Seay and Joel Zumaya combined to throw three innings of shutout relief to close out the game.
The Tigers final home series of the season begins tonight against the Twins. It’ll be Nate Robertson going up against Matt Garza. I’m going to the game on Wednesday and I kind of hit the jackpot. I’ll not only get to see Jair Jurrjens for the first time, but I’ll also get to see Johan Santana.
The Tigers scored five unanswered runs last night to come back from a 4-0 deficit to take care of the Royals. Sean Casey belted a three run homer in the fifth inning to cut the Royals lead to a single run and then Brandon Inge came up huge with a two run single in the fifth for the game winner. Magglio Ordonez picked up two hits he now leads Ichiro in the batting race .354 to .350. Placido Polanco picked up hits number 190 and 191 and he’s at .344.
Jair Jurrjens had his first his first really poor start of the season but the bullpen really picked him up in this one. Tim Byrdak picked up the win with two innings of shutout relief in which he struck out five and both Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones held the Royals scoreless in their stints. For Jones, it’s his 38th save of the season.
The Tigers are sending three players to play in the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League this year. Catcher Dusty Ryan, infielder Cale Iorg and outfielder Jeramy Laster will be their representatives.
The Yankees lost, so the Tigers now sit 4 1/2 back of them with eight games left. The Indians won and their magic number to clinch the AL Central is down to two. Tonight, it’ll be Kenny Rogers going up against Kyle Davies.
If you still had faith after Monday’s lost to the Indians, it has to be pretty much gone at this point. While the Tigers haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, they face an uphill battle that looks pretty much insurmountable. The Tigers are now six losses back of the Yankees with just nine games to play.
Lack of run support once again haunted Nate Robertson against the Indians. He was given just two runs and both were driven in on a single by Ryan Raburn in the third inning. Carlos Guillen was the only Tiger with two hits and Magglio Ordonez went zero for four and he now trails Ichiro in the race for the batting title by a single point.
Nate Robertson had one bad inning. In the fifth he was tagged for three runs but he gave the Tigers seven frames. Bobby Seay pitched a shutout eighth to wrap things up for the Tigers.
It’s a day off today, and then the Royals come into town. Jair Jurrjens gets the start agaisnt rookie Billy Buckner. There’s just nine Tiger games left, so enjoy them while you can.
I’ll save the eulogy for when the Tigers are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but it’s safe to say that the chances of Detroit making the postseason this year are very, very slim. They’re five losses back with ten to play for the Wild Card and the Indians don’t even have to play .500 ball to win the division regardless of whether the Tigers win out or not.
The Tigers had a three game lead in this one but it last for just a half inning. Justin Verlander was tagged for four homeruns and while I missed the Ryan Garko one, the homers by Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Franklin Gutierrez were pretty much no doubt about its as soon as they went off the hitters bat. Verlander dropped to 17-6 and it didn’t matter that Jason Grilli threw 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief the rest of the way.
The Tigers scored three of their four runs in the second inning and two of those runs came off of a two run single by Ramon Santiago. Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield both had two hits and Magglio Ordonez picked up one hit and he now leads the batting race .356 to .352 over Ichiro. I forgot to mention this yesterday, but Ordonez topped 200 hits and he became the first Tiger since Alan Trammell in 1987 to do it. Placido Polanco needs just ten hits to join Ordonez.
The Tigers wrap things up with the Indians this afternoon. It’s an odd 12:05 game time. Nate Robertson squared up against C.C. Sabathia.
The Tigers let another game get away from them and at this point, even the most optimistic of Tigers fans have to be thinking that this game is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Up 5-2 in the eighth inning, Joel Zumaya was tagged for three runs that sent the game into extra frames. Then in the bottom of the eleventh, Casey Blake belted a walk off, solo homer off of Zach Miner to complete the Tigers loss. It’s too bad because Kenny Rogers saw a solid start go to waste. He gave up just two runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.
Placido Polanco had the big game at the plate. He singled, doubled and belted a solo homer in the loss. Carlos Guillen doubled twice and scored two runs while Ramon Santiago singled twice and drove in two runs.
Sigh, to make the loss worse, the Yankees won as well so the Wild Card deficit is back to 3 1/2 games. Even if the Tigers take their final two games against, the Indians, they’ll have just a slim chance to catch them and the Yankees magic number for the Wild Card is now nine. If the Yankees go 6=6 in their final twelve games, the Tigers will have to go 9-2 in their final eleven games just to tie.
Tonight, it’ll be Justin Verlander going up against Jake Westbrook. With C.C. Sabathia throwing tomorrow, this is our best chance to walk away with a win in this series.
The Tigers pulled off a sweep this weekend and Jair Jurrjens gave the Tigers another huge boost (and hopefully a glimpse of things to come) with a solid start to take care of the Twins for a three game sweep. Jurrjens didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning when he was also tagged for his first and only run. The win pushed his record to 3-1. And then, Tim Byrdak, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones put the Twins down without giving up a run. Jones’ strikeout of Jason Kubel was nice. He got him looking on a nice curveball.
Curtis Granderson’s game was a microcosm of his season as he both homered and stole a base. The homerun led off the game while Magglio Ordonez picked up his 49th double of the season. Timo Perez continued his hot hitting with two more hits and he extended his hitting streak to six games.
The Yankees won so the Tigers still face a 2 1/2 game deficit with a three game series against the Indians. The Tigers could put themselves back into the division race with a sweep over the Indians but anything less then that isn’t going to do it. The Yankees, in the meantime, head home for a three game series with the Erik Bedardless Orioles. And looking at the Yankees schedule, it’s not looking good (for us). They have six against the Orioles, four against the Devil Rays and their only tough opponent will be this weekend against the Blue Jays.
Kenny Rogers takes the mound for the Tigers tonight. The Tigers will then have to contend with Paul Byrd, who’s won five of his last six starts.
If you would have told me that Yorman Bazardo would be gone before the end of the fifth inning and that Johan Santana threw eight innings, I would have thought the Tigers were toast. Of course that only applies when Johan isn’t doing his best Jeremy Bonderman impersonation because the Tigers tagged him for four quick runs in the first inning and that was good enough for the win.
Of course if you were in Detroit, you didn’t get to see those four runs because the Yankees and Red Sox game went late. That’s how it goes these days when national television deals trump the local ones. So while everyone in the area got to see the Red Sox close out a blowout win over the Yankees, the Tigers were putting the only runs they’d score the entire game on the board.
The big hit of that first inning was a three run double by Ivan Rodriguez. Carlos Guillen put the Tiger on the board just prior to that with an RBI single. The Tigers would pick up just two hits the rest of the game but the damage was done.
Yorman Bazardo was good enough. He got into trouble in the third but got out of it and then he got into trouble again in the fifth which was what prompted his removal. Bobby Seay came in and pitched the Tigers out of that jam and it wouldn’t be until the seventh inning when the Twins would threaten again. With the score 4-3, Joel Zumaya came in with one out and the bases loaded and he was able to get Joe Mauer to ground into an inning ending double play.
If they would have lost the game in the seventh, it would have been on an odd play that started with an error by Zach Miner. Jason Kubel grounded to Miner, who turned to throw to second. His throw went high and Ramon Santiago couldn’t get his foot down in time. He threw to first late and then Carlos Guillen was late on a throw home to get Nick Punto for the Twins third run. Three throws, nobody out but fortunately Zumaya pitched them out of it.
Zumaya threw a shutout ninth and then Jones closed it out for his 36th save of the season. The Yankees lost, so the Tigers now sit 2 1/2 games back of New York. It’ll be Jair Jurrjens this afternoon going up against Scott Baker and it goes without saying that the Tigers need a win.
The Tigers won, but with just over two weeks left in the season, the Tigers also need help and they didn’t get any last night. The Yankees stormed back and scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Red Sox and even the Indians came back and won. So at the end of the night, they were still 3 1/2 games (four losses) back of the Yankees for that Wild Card. Their elimination magic number is down to 12 and at this point, the Tiges have to be close to perfect get that Wild Card spot.
Nate Robertson gave the Tigers seven quality innings. He gave up just two runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts and he improved to 8-11. Somehow, Tim Byrdak was given a hold despite not getting a baserunner out (he hit Joe Mauer to lead off the eighth and then he came out of the game), and both Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones threw a shutout inning of relief. Rodney struck out two of three batters he faced.
The Tigers big inning was the sixth. Down 2-1, Ivan Rodriguez drove in a run with a bases loaded walk (just his ninth walk of the season) and Timo Perez broke the tie with a two run single. Perez also put the Tigers on the board in the second with an RBI single and he finished three for four to keep his batting average well above .429.
Tonight, Yorman Bazardo makes his first career start and he’ll have the unenviable task of outpitching Johan Santana to win that game. I’m not counting the Tigers out, but this would be a pretty big win if they could manage it…somehow.
Justin Verlander won his fourth straight start and his sixth out of the last seven to improve to 17-5 on the season in the Tigers 5-1 win in their finale over Texas. Verlander gave up just one run on seven hits and a walk and he struck out seven. Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones each pitched a shutout inning while Jones struck out the side in a non-save situation.
All five of the Tigers runs came on a pair of homers. Gary Sheffield put the Tigers on the board in the first inning with a two run homer and then Magglio Ordonez provided some insurance with a three run homer in the sixth. Ordonez now has 132 RBIs and while that puts him tied for fourteenth with Norm Cash and Cecil Fielder on the single season RBI list for the Tigers, he needs just eight more to jump all the way to fifth. He would then become just the third Tiger hitter to drive in 140 runs in a season. Hank Greenberg did it four times and Rocky Colavito was the last to do it in 1961.
Placido Polanco had a solid game as well. He picked up a single and a walk and he scored on both of the homeruns. He needs just two more runs to reach 100 on the season. Gary Sheffield has 99 and Curtis Granderson and both Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez have topped the century mark. The last time a Tiger team had four players with 100 runs was 1950. George Kell, Hoot Evers, Johnny Lipton and Jerry Friddy did it that season. In 1934, five Tigers scored a 100 runs or more.
The bad news is, the Yankees won again so the Tigers still sit four games back of the Yankees (five in the loss column). The Tigers have the day off today while the Yankees wrap up their series Toronto. It’d sure be nice if the Blue Jays helped us out and won that game.
In the meantime, the Tigers rotation is in shambles. Jeremy Bonderman is out, Kenny Rogersand Jair Jurrjens are both sore and the Tigers have a tough three game series coming up in Minnesota against the Twins. Kenny Rogers is listed as the stater on Saturday, but he could be pushed back as could Jurrjens, who’s listed to throw in Sunday. The only thing Jim Leyland said that he knew for sure was that Robertson was starting on Friday in the series opener.
Tom Gage reports that Yorman Bazardo will get the start on Saturday. Jurrjens will thrown on Sunday and then Kenny Rogers will start the opener against the Indians on Monday.
I’m watching the game and Curtis Granderson almost grounded into a double play. Curtis amazingly has grounded into just one double play all season and if he finishes the season with just one, he’ll be only the fifth player in the last 27 years to ground into one double play or less and have more then 550 at bats. He’d join Rafael Furcal (the last player to do it) in 2003, Brady Anderson and Craig Biggio in 1997 and Ellis Burks in his rookie season of 1987. He’ll be in even more select company if he finishes with 600 at bats and less then one stolen base. To date, Biggio and Furcal are the only players to do it since the ground into double play stat was kept track of back in 1939.
Things got off to an immediately bad start yesterday as the Tigers were pummelled in game one of their doubleheader with the Rangers. The Rangers set a record for homeruns by visiting team with seven in a 13-6 beatdown that at one point had the Tigers down 11-0 late. The four starters who threw at least an inning all gave up runs and all four gave up homeruns.
By the middle of the game, most of the starters were out there which cleared the way for guys like Mike Hessman, Brent Clevlen and Cameron Maybin to get some time in. Hessman finished the game with three RBIs and Timo Perez went three for four with two runs.
Fortunately, the Tigers bounced back in the second game and won it 4-1. Jair Jurrjens picked the Tigers up with a solid start and he improved to 2-1 with five innings. He gave up just one run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout while Jason Grilli, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones held the Rangers scoreless in the final four innings. For Jones, it was his 34th save of the season.
The Tigers big inning was the first one, in while they pummelled Brandon McCarthy. Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez all had RBI singles in the inning and the Tigers added a fourth run in the second inning on an RBI single by Placido Polanco. Curtis Granderson supplanted Gary Sheffield as the team leader with two stolen bases where as Sheffield stole one.
The problem is, the Yankees won. That puts the Tigers four games back, but more importantly, they’re five back in the loss column. At this point, if the streaking Yankees go 998 in their final 18 games, the Tigers will have to go 11-5 just to force a tie so at this point, every loss really, really counts.
The finale with the Rangers is tonight. It’ll be Justin Verlander throwing for his 17th win and the Tigers’ hitters will face Edinson Volquez, who I really don’t know much about. He is 2-0 though but he has a career ERA of 7.89 in 57 innings so hopefully the Tigers can figure him out.
At the end of this month, last night’s game may end up meaning little but man, was it fun to watch. Roy Halladay owned the Tigers most of the night and heading into the ninth, the Jays had a comfortable 4-1 lead. Mike Rabelo led off with a single and then Timo Perez hit one up the middle that looked like it might go through the hole but John McDonald made a spectacular play where he made a diving grab, scooped the ball with his glove to the second baseman who then turned the double play.
Sean Casey then hit one to left field and, when I initially saw the play live, I thought Reed Johnson short hopped it. The ump called it a single but when the replay came back, it actually looked like Johnson caught but it was definitely close. Anyway, Brandon Inge followed that up with a single to move pinchrunner Cameron Maybin over to third and Inge moved to second on catcher’s indifference. Then Curtis Granderson drove them both home with single. Placido Polanco singled, Gary Sheffield walked and then Maggs came through with the big game winning single. So with two outs, it was single, single, single, single, walk single. Final was 5-4.
Ordonez finished the game four for five and he’s now hitting .359. Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco and Sean Casey all had two hits a piece and Gary Sheffield drew two walks.
Kenny Rogers put in 6 1/3 innings en route to throwing 98 pitches in a solid start. He gave up just two runs on nine hits with two strikeouts while Joel Zumaya, with some help from Zach Miner, gave up two runs in the eighth that appeared to put the game out of reach. Yorman Bazardo pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his first career win.
The Yankees were off so the Tigers now sit 3 1/2 back of the Yankees, who didn’t play yesterday. New York has three against the Blue Jays beginning today while the Tigers play three against the Rangers, including a doubleheader today. The Rangers have played some good ball of late and they’re 30-24 since the All Star Break. They’ve won five straight and they’re close to getting out of the cellar in the AL West. Anyway, it’s Chad Durbin versus Vicente Padilla in the opener and Jair Jurrjens against Brandon McCarthy in the opener.
It’s been a rough day but it ended with a smile as the Tigers came back from a 4-1 deficit to score four runs in the ninth to win it. Magglio Ordonez and Curtis Granderon each had two run singles with Maggs drivine in the tying and winning runs.
I’m beat so I’m crashing. I’ll have my usual write up tomorrow morning.
Jim Leyland said that there’s a good chance that Jeremy Bonderman will be shut down, potentially for the entire season. Bonderman hasn’t been the same pitcher in the second half and it looks like one of the culprit’s is a sore elbow. Billfer wrote up an excellent analysis of Bonderman’s second half slide so be sure to check that out.
Jeremy Bonderman had another poor start yesterday afternoon as the Mariners blew out the Tigers 14-7 in an ugly game. Bonderman was back to having first inning troubles when he gave up two runs in the first frame but Felix Hernandez outdid him by giving up four in the bottom of the first. That was the last time the Tigers would have the lead though because the Mariners scored four more in the second, then four more in the third and three more in the fourth. All five pitches used each gave up a run and Bonderman lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He fell to 11-8 and it looks like once again, he’ll fall short of picking up 15 wins.
The game was shaping up to be a marathon because it took almost two hours to get through the first four innings but things calmed down in the second half of the game (just one run a piece) and it ended up clocking in at a still long but not too bad 3:17.
There’s a lot of new faces in the Tigers dugout because both the Seawolves and the Mud Hens are done. Both lost in the first round of their respective playoffs. The White Caps also finished up this weekend but in a good way as they repeated as Midwest League champions. Oneonta just kicked off their playoffs with a win last night.
***UPDATE*** – Okay, I blew the White Caps things. I didn’t know they had a three series format, so they’ll play for the Midwest League championship beginning Tuesday.
Curtis Granderson had a big day at the plate. He was a perfect four for four with a homerun, two runs and a stolen base. With the stolen base, Curtis Granderson joins Willie Mays and Frank Schulte as the only players to hit 20 homeruns, 20 doubles, 20 triples and steal 20 bases. Magglio Ordonez went two for four with three RBIs and a run and he still leads the race for the batting title while Placio Polanco had two more hits to put himself back in it with Maggs and Ichiro.
The Yankees won so the Tigers lost a game in the Wild Card race and they now have to make up four games with 19 left to play. And the Mariners aren’t dead yet either because they’re tied with the Tigers in the loss column.
The Blue Jays come to town tonight for a makeup game. As luck would have it, the Blue Jays are sending Roy Halladay to the mound. For the Tigers, it’ll be Kenny Rogers throwing.
Curtis Granderson just did it. He stole his 20th base to become just the third player in major league history to hit 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 homeruns and steal 20 bases.