Archive for April, 2009

Beatdown Part 2

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Joba Chamberlain got the better of the “young pitcher” matchup tonight as he held the Tigers in check and Rick Porcello was bounced for six runs in less then four innings. Like yesterday, it was a big inning that did the Tigers in and this time it was the fourth when the Yankees tagged Porcello and Clay Rapada for seven runs.  Porcello’s record drops to 1-3 and even worse, he walked three and struck out just one.

The Tigers definitely made this one interesting by rallying in the ninth, unfortunately, it fell just short.  The Tigers scored their first two runs on sac. flies.  Placido Polanco drove home Brandon Inge in the third and Gerald Laird drove home Miguel Cabrera in the ninth.  Carlos Guillen was the lone Tiger with two hits and Cabrera reached twice on a walk and a single.  Brandon Inge then doubled home a run before Curtis Granderson belted a three run shot to make it 8-6.  Mariano Rivera then got Placido Polanco to pop out to end the game.

It’s an off day tomorrow and then the Indians come into town.  They’re in last but they’re just a few games back so things continue to be interesting in the AL Central.

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Beatdown and a Game Blog

Marathon Man move Not a pretty game last night, and you have to feel for Edwin Jackson.  That’s two solid starts he’s had that the pen has blown.  I always thought Nate Robertson was a hard luck pitcher (not last year, but in season’s past) and now it looks like it’ll be Jackson’s turn.

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Don’t forget to stop by Tigers Corner

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tonight.  Gary Gillette will be blogging the game from the press box tonight with a solid matchup between two young, up and coming pitchers.

Tigers Hold On To Give Verlander First Win

The Tigers took game one of their series against the Yankees last night behind a fantastic outing by Justin Verlander.  He threw seven innings and he gave up just seven hits without a walk and he struck out nine.  The downer was Fernando Rodney, who had his third straight mediocre outing.  He gave up two runs in the ninth and he gave up three straight hits to open up the inning. Fortunately, he got Jorge Posada to ground into a double play that limited the damage in the inning.

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Magglio Ordonez belted his second home run of the season and he drove in a pair of runs.  Placido Polanco went two for four with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.

The Win Probability Added graph is interesting for this game.  The Tigers had a 98.1% chance of winning this heading into the ninth but that fell all the way to 82% after Melky Cabrera’s single.  The double play by Posada then put it back into the 98% range before Rodney got out of his jam.

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Things continue tonight with Phil Hughes (remember him, once a top pitching prospect not too long ago) going up against Edwin Jackson.  Jackson is basically two for four this season, with two poor outings and two good ones.  His ERA is a little deceiving because he’s given up four unearned runs but you have to like his 17/7 strikeout to walk ratio.

First Place, Huntington Park and Tigers Corner

It’s been a week. Not sure if it was an April 15 hangover or just that I still feel like crap after having a touch of the flu (the non-swine variety, but maybe I should stay away some more because the Tigers have been getting it done.  10-8 isn’t what I’d call lighting it up, but it’s better then last year and it’s good enough to give them a one game lead in the AL Central.  Even better, Justin Verlander is doing a number on the Yankees what will hopefully be the team’s third shutout of the season.

I was in Columbus this weekend and we went to see a Clippers game at the brand new Huntington Park.  Nice place, especially for a minor league team and there was definitely a nice crowd on hand for the Saturday evening game.  Unlike here, the weather was awesome and the only knock was that it was a little windy.  I recognized more names on the Indianapolis Indians squad (Pirates affiliate) then I did on the Clippers (Indians). At this point though, with my son being four almost five, I’ve consigned myself to the fact that if I’m taking him to a game, it’s to enjoy the time with him and not to actually watch the game, which is fine.

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Gary Gillette is going to be blogging Wed. night on Tigers Corner The Escapist .  He’s going to give some contrasting views between what you see on the field while at the stadium, what you see on the television and what you see on the internet as he’ll blog the game from the press box.  Should be an interesting read so be sure to check it out.

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Rick Porcello Notches First Big League Win

One Last Dance move Hopefully, this is a habringer of things to come for several years for Rick Porcello.  He was about as good as you could ask this afternoon as the Tigers took the rubber game of their three game series with the Mariners.  Porcello gave up just a single run on five hits with three strikeouts (no walks) to pick up win number of his career.  He needed just 86 pitches to get through seven innings in a very efficient outing.

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The other star of the game was Ramon Santiago, who drove home five runs in 8-2 win.  That brings his season total up to 11 and while that sounds good but not great, you have to keep in mind that Santiago’s career high for a season is just 29 and that was with 444 at bats (yes, it’s the infamous 2003 season).  Miguel Cabrera pitched in with two singles, a walk and three runs whie Josh Anderson went two for four with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base.

The win puts the Tigers in a three way tie for first place with the White Sox and Royals.  Tomorrow is an off day but then the Tigers head to Anaheim to take on the Angels.  It’ll be Armando Galarraga going up against Jered Weaver in the opener on Tuesday.

Shutout Number Two

The Tigers are less then two weeks into their schedule and already, their pitching staff has two shutouts.  Last night, it was Edwin Jackson, with some help from the pen, that helped pitch the Tigers to a 2-0 win.  Jackson got into trouble in the first (double, then a stolen base put a runner at third with one out) before getting out of that jam and after that, he cruised along until the eighth when he put two runners on.  Bobby Seay did his job by getting Ichiro out then Fernando Rodney got through the ninth (he gave up a leadoff walk which is kind of signature for him) for the win.  Jackson gave up five hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.  For Rodney, it was his third save of the season.

Ichiro had a rough night.  He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and his throwing error on Brandon Inge’s single allowed a second runner to score.  Curtis Granderson showed some signs of life with a single and two walks and Brandon Inge went two for four with an RBI and both Tiger runs were pushed across on one of those singles.

The rubber game is later this afternoon.  Rick Porcello will make his second start and the Mariners will have Carlos Silva throwing. 

I know it’s early, but what a strange start to the season.  The Florida Marlins, at 10-1, have the best record in baseball and the Blue Jays, Mariners and Royals lead their respective divisions.  And with two games seperating just first and fourth in the Central, a good or bad week can really make a difference.

Back to Even

The Tigers fell back to an even 5-5 late last night as they fell to the Mariners.  Justin Verlander was good for six innings, unfortunately, he threw 7 1/3 and one of those frames was a five spot (ironically in the fifth).  He gave up a double, double, single, single before getting two outs (although one of them was a sac. bunt) then single, single, wild pitch turned into a five run frame.  He actually pitched into the eighth when he gave up another run but then the game was somewhat out of reach anyway (although Sunday’s game should point to the whole “It ain’t over ’till it’s over” credo).

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Verlander struck out eight and walked one but of his eight hits, three were for extra bases.  When Verlander is getting knocked, he’s getting knocked hard and his OPS against is up over .900.  That’s not encouraging and it shows in the 0-2 start.

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Miguel Cabrera continued his impressive month and he went three for four with a run.  Brandon Inge singled and drove in two while Gerald Laird singled, drew a walk, stole a base and scored.  All nine Tiger hits were singles.

Ridicule video The Tigers play tonight although it’s a little earlier (9 pm start time).  Edwin Jackson looks for his first win and he’ll go up against Erik Bedard.  Bedard has looked good his last time out with 8 1/3 shutout innings against Athletics so this should be a good pitching matchup if Jackson can do his job.

Back At It

On Golden Pond movie download For the last week and change, I’ve either been sick or I’ve taken care of someone who was sick, or took care of my son on a day he should have been at a relative’s house because they were sick.  Fun times and the timing couldn’t be better.  Let’s just say, as a CPA, things get a little busy come April 15.  Of course the date comes and goes and as has been the case the last 14 years, I survived. Now it’s time to get back at it although there’s a good chance in the next couple of weeks I’m going to have both a new job and a new profession.

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Today’s game was a good one.  Armando Galarraga threw the bulk of a four hit shutout against a hot White Sox team.  He improved to 2-0 and he gave up four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.  Bobby Seay, Ryan Perry and Fernando Rodney then all combined to throw the final 2 2/3 innings to give the Tigers their first shutout of the season.

Miguel Cabrera belted home run number four and he also stole his first base of the season.  Placido Polanco drove in three runs while Josh Anderson was a perfect two for two with two walks, two runs and a stolen base.

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The win puts the Tigers back onto the winning side and it also puts them into a tie for first with the Royals.  Tomorrow there’s a day off and then we have a nice pitching matchup on Friday with Justin Verlander going up against Felix Hernandez.

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The Tigers evened up their record at 3-3 this afternoon with a nice win over the Rangers.  Justin Verlander bounced back (sort of) and the pen did their job nicely.  The good on Verlander was the eight strikeouts in five innings.  He did walk four though and while he gave up just earned run, he also gave up three unearned runs.

After that, it was some nice work by the pen.  Nate Robertson did his job with two perfect frames and he picked up his first win of the season (with wins tough to come by for him the past couple of years, maybe this pen thing isn’t all bad).  Fernando Rodney looked really sharp in the ninth and he struck out the side for his first save of the season.

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On the offensive side, Adam Everett was the surprising star at the plate.  He put the Tigers on the board in the second with a two run triple and then he singled and scored on Placido Polanco’s double in the sixth and that proved to be the game winner.  Gerald Laird was three for four with a run and then Polanco doubled twice, scored and drove in that big run.

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Edwin Jackson looks to put the Tigers on the winning side of the ledger as the team tries to pull off a sweep.  Kevin Millwood gets the nod for the Rangers.

Fifteen On Opening Day

The Tigers provided some fireworks this afternoon as they kicked off their first home series with a 15-2 blowout win over the then undefeated Texas Rangers.  Miguel Cabrera was one of many hitting stars but his six RBIs led the way.  He also jacked his third home run while Jeff Larish also went yard in the game.  Every Tiger starter had at least one hit and one run and the only starter who didn’t drive in a run was Brandon Inge.

Lost in all of the offense was a very nice start by Armando Galarraga.  He gave up just one run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.  Ryan Perry walked two and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning while Eddie Bonine gave up a run in his 1 1/3 innings to close out the game.

Vertigo movie download The Tigers have a chance to get .500 for the first time this year tomorrow with Justin Verlander on the mound.  Matt Harrison gets the nod for the Rangers.

For an interesting take on the game, Gary Gillette blogged the game while in the press booth over at Tigers Corner The Hard Word download .  Well worth checking out for the humor alone.


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Well, this one was a tough one to watch.  I don’t get to watch many Tiger games from beginning to end.  My son doesn’t go to bed until 8:30 or so so I usually get some early innings then the last few.  He spent the night at the grandparents so I got an early treat and got to a watch a Tiger game (at least as much as I watch it while it’s on when I’m working) from beginning to end.  Of course it was bitter sweet because of the end result of this game.

Brandon Lyon made his regular season debut and made some enemies.   He gave up a big three run blast in the eighth and then he lost in the ninth after Brandon Inge tied the game up with his second home run in as many games.

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One problem I see with the Tigers staff is the lack of punch out of the pen with their lefties.  Bobby Seay came in and pitched to one batter but once he left, you’ve only got Nate Robertson left.  It’ll make decisions tough because you don’t want to bring in Seay too soon and burn him, but you never know when you’re going to need that out from the southpaw.

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Edwin Jackson looked good and he gave up just two hits through 7 1/3 innings.  One of his two runs came on the three run homer that Lyon gave up and Jackson struck out four and walked just one.  I’m becoming a believer in this guy.

Brandon Inge hit home run number two and also a doubled while Miguel Cabrera was a perfect two for two with two walks.  I do like the fact that the Tigers walked five times with six strikeouts, they just couldn’t put more then four runs across the plate.  The only Tiger who didn’t reach base was Adam Everett, but he helped out with an effective bunt that resulted in the Tigers first run in the third.

I know Fernando Rodney didn’t blow this one, but I have a feeling Ryan Perry is going to be the closer of the more immediate future if he ever gets a chance.  My bet is he’s closing games by the All Star break if he lives up to the hype and the rest of the pen continues to struggle.

Torque dvd It’s another night game tomorrow.  I’ll be on the road when this one starts.  It’ll be Zach Miner going  up against Jesse Litsch in game three.  Rick Porcello then makes his debut on Thursday in an afternoon get away day game.

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Opening Day Beat Down

Alright, it’s 9-1.  MUST. STAY. POSITIVE.

I just hope the Spartans fare a little better.


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As an MSU grad, yesterday’s win over U-Conn was pretty big for me and it makes Monday that much more interesting.  You’ve got the Tiger game starting at seven and then leading up into the National Championship game later that night.  It doesn’t get much better then this.  Go Green and Go Tigers.

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Tigers Finish Spring Season On Winning Note

The Tigers head north with a wind after they doubled up the Braves this afternoon 8-4.  Carlos Guillen hit his first homerun of the spring and Miguel Cabrera went two for four with two RBIs and a run.  Magglio Ordonez was hitting third and Cabrera fourth so I wonder if that’s how they lineup is going to shake out. 

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Rick Porcello threw two shutout frames before he gave it up for Armando Galarraga, who gave up two runs (just one earned) with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.  Nate Robertson struggled out of the pen and he gave up two runs in the ninth to finish up the game.

Monday is the day and for the first time ever (I think), the Tigers open up their season at night.  If anyone knows of a night opener, let me know because I don’t ever remember one.  It’ll be Justin Verlander going up against Roy Halladay.  The Sunday opener will be the Braves and Phillies so we’ll get our first taste of real baseball tomorrow.

18th in the Power Rankings released their power rankings and the Tigers start the season at 18th.  That’s behind everyone in the AL Central ahead of just the Twins at number 23.  I’m curious as to what people think.  Do you think they’ll finish above or below this ranking by the end of the season?

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Zach Miner Gets Roughed Up In Final Tuneup

The Tigers played their second to last spring game yesterday and they lost a close to the Braves 3-1.  You wonder how intensely these guys were playing through with the opener just a few days away and that kind of showed at the plate with just five hits.  The only extra baggers were doubles by Curtis Granderson and Ramon Santago and Josh Anderson scored the lone run in the seventh inning.

Zach Miner had three shutout frames before he was touched up for three runs in the fourth inning.  The big blow was a two run homer by former Tiger Omar Infante.  After that, things looked pretty good because none of the four relievers gave up a run.  Juan Rincon closed the game out and he finished his spring season without giving up an earned run while Brandon Lyon’s shutout frame got his ERA down to 5.25. 

Nate Robertson has made some comments about being dropped into the pen

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.  I’ve always been a big Nate Robertson fan (it’s a southpaw thing) but I also understand how poor of a year he had (although he had some help from the pen) last year.  My suggestion to Nate would be to force the Tigers hand by pitching your guts out every time you come out on the mound and leave them no choice but to put you back in the rotation.  I know it’s easy to get frustrated when the news drops but I still think Robertson can be a big key to a winning Tiger team.

A lot is being made about the Tigers having an all right handed rotation.  While it’s going to be limiting, that puts even more pressure on the lefty’s coming out of the pen because they’ll probably be the first one’s called on.  Of course if you’re into the history thing, in 1984, the Tigers didn’t have a single start that went to a left hander and there were only three relievers used all year that were southpaws (of course one of those was Willie Hernandez).  So it can be done.

Mike Hessman and Brent Clevlen both cleared waivers so they’ll be playing for Toledo.  That Mud Hens squad, if left relatively intact, should make some noise this year.  I was hoping to get down to see them on April 18th when they play at Columbus, but that’s the new Huntington Park’s opener and it was sold out.

The final spring game is this afternoon.  I probably won’t be home, but I’ll try to watch the archive of it online.  Then there’s a day off to travel to Toronto for opening day.  Real baseball is just two days away.

Tigers Get Brooks Brown From Diamondbacks

This is a relatively small deal, but the Tigers got Brooks Brown from the Diamondbacks for James Skelton.  The catcher was lost in the Rule 5 draft but the Diamondbacks couldn’t find room for him so they worked out a deal to keep him.

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Brown is a fringe prospect starting pitcher and despite going 6-15, he played in the Southern League All Star game for Double A Mobile.  He also had a fair showing at the Arizona Fall League with 19 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.  Brown was subsequently sent to Erie so he’ll repeat Double A at least to start the season.

Tigers Close Out Joker Marchant With Win Over Jays

Just a quick side note, I’m listening to the Reds/Pirates game and they’re talking about bringing Gary Sheffield in.  The guy talking for the Reds (missed who it is, might be Walt Jocketty) said simply their scouts said Gary can still hit but the big question is how many games he can play in the field.  He also indicated Gary will probably make a decision on where he goes tomorrow.

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With that, the Tigers have moved and they’re heading to Atlanta for a two game series against the Braves at Turner Field.  In the meantime, they finished off their Florida play with an 8-5 win over the Jays.  The only pitcher of consequence to throw was Ryan Perry and he threw a shutout inning.  Josh Rainwater and Jon Huber were the relievers who were touched up for runs.

Brandon Inge belted his fifth homer of the spring and Carlos Guillen went two for three with two RBIs and a run.  Miguel Cabrera also had a nice game with two hits and three RBIs.  Magglio Ordonez also had a nice game and he went two for two with with two walks and a run.

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No news on how Edwin Jackson did at the minor league game.  Tomorrow’s game is a night game and Zach Miner will go against Javier Vazquez.  Sunday’s game will be interesting because not only will Armando Galarraga and Rick Porcello get some time, but we’ll get to see Brave’s phenom Tommy Hanson.

Looks like Jeff Larish secured the final spot on the roster.  That rounds things out for the 25 man.

Justin Verlander Is Hit Hard In Loss to Braves

Seven runs in five innings.  It wasn’t that great of a tune up game for Justin Verlander this after as the Braves bounced him around.  He gave up five in the second, one in the third and one more in the fourth so it wasn’t just contained to one bad inning (even though he had one of them).  He’ll go head to head to with Roy Halladay on opening day this coming Monday.

Juan Rincon threw another shutout frame.  Again, the game wasn’t on so I wasn’t able to see who he faced.  Fernando Rodney also threw a shutout inning while Casey Fien gave up a run in the ninth.

Curtis Granderson was the hitting star.  He went two for four with a two run homer, his third long all of the spring.  Miguel Cabrera and Gerald Laird each had a pair of hits in the 9-3 beat down.

Next up are the Blue Jays.  Eddie Bonine and Ryan Perry should see some work in this one.  Edwin Jackson is going to get some innings, but it’ll be with the minor league club against a Nationals affiliate.  This will be the last spring game at Lakeland before the Tigers head to Atlanta for a pair of spring games at Turner Field against the Braves.

Rookies Porcello and Perry Make Opening Day Roster

I have some misgivings about the Tigers putting Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry on the opening day roster.  Back in 2007, the Tigers promoted Cameron Maybin probably earlier then he should have been and it smacked of desperation.  This year, the Tigers are hoping to recapture the magic of 2006 when Joel Zumaya and Justin Verlander helped lead the Tigers to their first pennant since 1984.  It was announced today that both Ryan Perry and Rick Porcello would be on the opening day roster.

To make room, Clay Rapada was sent to the Hens and Scott Williamson was sent to minor league camp.  Porcello may be more of a placeholder in the rotation until Jeremy Bonderman (or even Dontrelle Willis) comes back but if he  throws together a couple of good starts, it’ll make the rotation decision that much tougher to make when Bonderman comes back.  Perry will likely pitch a lot in the sixth and seventh innings to basically fill the role Zumaya played in 2006.  Juan Rincon and Eddie Bonine also made the team.  The other surprise move is that Zach Miner got the other rotation spot and Nate Robertson will come out of the pen.

On the hitting side, Ryan Raburn and Dane Sardinha were optioned to Toledo while Mike Hessman was placed on waivers.  I can’t see Hessman’s power bat not getting picked up so he’s as good as gone.

With the Josh Anderson trade, that leaves Brent Clevlen and Jeff Larish vying for the 25th spot.  My bet is Clevlen gets the nod because Larish has options but the Tigers don’t seem t shy about cutting a player loose these days.

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