Archive for June, 2009


Where Are They Now – Humberto Sanchez

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It seems like forever since the Tigers played in the World Series, then after their loss to the Cardinals, made an offensive push by trading a package of prospects to the Yankees for Gary Sheffield.  Shef is with the Mets and while he never lived up to the hype, never did the cornerstone of the trade on the Yankees side of things.  Humberto Sanchez missed all of 2007 then in 2008 he played for three different minor league teams in the Yankees organization before getting a cup of coffee in September (two relief appearances, two innings pitched).  This year, he’s been okay in limited time as a middle reliever for the Tampa Yankees.

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I was always a little skeptical about Sanchez.  He had the one great season in 2006 but even that was cut short when he developed elbow problems.  Prior to that, he was decent but not exceptional.  Now he’s 26 and he’s struggling in A+ ball so the odds of him making it are pretty slim at this point.

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Tigers Escape Houston With One Win

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Jackson gave up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings before yielding to the pen.  Bobby Seay, who’s pitched very well since after he gave up four runs in one game in mid-May, picked up his first win of the season.   Seay isn’t just doing it against lefties this year either because his overall batting average against is .205 and he’s been better against righties (.194) then he has against lefties (.212).  Fernando Rodney gave up a single but that’s it as he picked up his 17th save of the season.

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Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge continue to jockey for the team lead in home runs and they both belted their 18th of the season.  Inge’s blast in the top of the ninth was particularly impressive because his two run shot turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead.  Granderson had three hits and Inge had two and the rest of the team had just a double and a single.

The Tigers don’t get much rest because they jump on a plane to take on the Athletics tomorrow.  The Twins won so the four game lead stands but something should happen this holiday weekened because the Tigers stop in Minneapolis to take on the Twins for three games over the weekend.  Immediately thought, it’ll be Rick Porcello going for win number nine and Brett Anderson will throw for the A’s.



Tigers Do Little Right In 8-1 Loss to Astros

The Tigers didn’t make an error in this game.  Outside of that, the hitters were held to just three hits and Alfredo Figaro was shelled to the tune of eight runs through six frames.  It looks like Jim Leyland left Figaro out there to give the pen a rest because most of the damage in this came in the first three innings.  In turn, Figaro threw 110 pitches and only Freddy Dolsi was used out of the pen.

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Ramon Santiago accounted for the lone Tiger run with a solo shot. It was Santiago’s sixth home run of the season as he adds to his career (previously four).  Santiago’s 24 RBI’s also puts him a tad closer to that career mark when he had 29 back in 2003.  Of course he needed 444 at bats in 141 games to reach that total.

The Twins lost so the Tigers four game lead is intact.  Edwin Jackson throws tomorrow in the final and Russ Ortiz throws for the Astros in the series finale.

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Astros Stop Tigers Streak At Seven

It’s been a while, but the Tigers finally lost last night, ending their winning streak at seven games.  It’s too bad too because the Tigers jumped all over Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez and by the end of the two innings, the Tigers had a 4-0 lead.  That’s all they’d score though and the Astros would slowly chip away at the lead until they finally took it over it when Joel Zumaya gave up a pair of runs in the eighth.  Justin Verlander gave up just three runs, but he threw 116 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings and he gave up a ton of baserunners (seven hits, four walks).  I know Verlander is almost a lock for the All Star game, but I think at this stage of the season, he could use a few extra days off.

Placido Polanco had the big hit with a three run blast in the second.  It was his fourth of the season. Miguel Cabrera had two hits and one of them was a solo homer in the first inning and that brings his season total up to 16.

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The Twins won so the Tigers lead is back to four games.  Alfredo Figaro makes his second start of his career tonight and Felipe Paulino and his 6.18 ERA throws for the Astros.



Ryan Raburn Caps Off Tigers Win With Two Run Blast

This would have been a fun game to be at.  You had a solid pitcher’s duel through the first six frames before the Tigers opened it up a little bit with a two run blast in the seventh by Brandon Inge.  Then the Cubs took the lead in the eighth with a home run by Micah Hoffpauir before Ryan Raburn came through big time with one out, two run walk off home run to finish things up.  Inge finished the game two for four with his seventeenth home run while Don Kelly drew a walk and scored twice (he came home on each of the two run homers).

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Edwin Jackson didn’t get the win but he kept us in there.  He gave up two runs on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings.  I know he touched 97 when I was watching so he’s been throwing the ball hard.  Joel Zumaya gave up the two run homer and the lead in the eighth and it was Brandon Lyon who picked up the win to improve to 3-3 by getting the final Cubs’ out.

Body Armour video The Twins won so the Tigers are still sitting on a four game lead.  People have to be getting a little bit excited about the Tigers because they’ve now been in first place since May 10.  Their biggest lead has been four games though so hopefully they can crack that ceiling here soon.

Tonight, it’ll be Rick Porcello going up against Rich Harden.  Harden has had a weird season.  He’s struck out 64 in in 54 2/3 but he has a pedestrian .248 batting average against (at least for someone who can punch out so many).  Lefties hit .312 against so hopefully Curtis Granderson will have a solid game.  Righties don’t fare nearly as well with a .195 batting average against.  Porcello is looking for his ninth win of the season.



Inge, Verlander Lead Tigers To Finish Sweep Over Brewers

Not too shabby.  The first place Brewers (at the time) rolled into town for a three game series and they left with three losses as the Tigers took care of business in a 3-2 win this afternoon.  Brandon Inge had the big hit with a three run blast and that was all the Tigers needed (or would get) in the game.  It was Inge’s 16th of the season and that ties him for the second highest season total of his career.

Justin Verlander had another nice start and he improved to 8-3.  He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.  Bobby Seay got the final out in the eighth and then Fernando Rodney didn’t allow a baserunner in the ninth to pick up his 14th save of the season.  Rodney needed just eleven pitches, and eight of them were for strikes.

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The Pearl of Death hd The win gave the Tigers a four game lead.  Next up are the Cubs after a day off.  Edwin Jackson gets the nod and it’ll be Carlos Zambrano who’ll be throwing for the Cubs.



Alfredo Figaro Wins Major League Debut

Alfredo Figaro got plenty of help in his first big league start.  He did throw five solid frames, but the Tigers poured on the offense with a nine run, seventeen hit attack.  Figaro gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.  Ryan Perry and Brandon Lyon gave up two and one run respectively but Fernando Rodney threw a shutout ninth to close things out.

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Edison rip Four different Tigers had three hits a piece.  Oddly, with the seventeen hits, three Tigers (Granderson, Everett and Inge) all went hitless.  Miguel Cabrera and Placido Polance went yard and they both also scored three runs each.

The Twins are playing right now so the Tigers will have either a 2 1/2 or a 1 1/2 game lead.  Tomorrow, it’ll be a solid battle between two young pitchers as it’ll be Justin Verlander going  up against Yovani Gallardo.

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Rain Stays Away Long Enough For Tigers to Top Brewers

The rain was coming down most of the night but for the Tigers, the ball was leaving the park almost as often.  Three Tigers combined to hit four home runs in a 10-4, rain shortened beatdown of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Curtis Granderson hit his 17th, Miguel Cabrera belted home run number 13 and then Marcus Thames went yard twice and he drove in four to help pace the Tigers offensive attack.

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Armando Galarraga was roughed up before the extended rain delay and it’s probably better that he didn’t come back out because Zach Miner looked sharp.  He threw 2 1/3 shutout innings and he gave up just a walk and a hit with three strikeouts.  The big hit off of Galarraga was a three run, first inning blast by Prince Fielder.

This afternoon, Alfredo Figaro makes his major league debut on national television.  The Brewers will throw Dave Bush.



Big First Frame, Solid Pitching Gives Tigers Win In Finale Against Cards

It was nice to see the Tigers finally figured out the Cardinals.  They got a flurry or runs in the first off of Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro and then some solid pitching from Rick Porecello and the pen.  Four different Tigers drove in runs in the first inning and then they got two solo homers in the eighth to give them what they needed for the win.  Marcus Thames belted his third and he drove in a pair while Placido Polance went two for five with two runs and his second home run.

Of course the big news was Magglio Ordonez.  Jim Leyland said he’d be sitting indefinitely, which probably means he’ll get today off and then be back tomorrow.  The Tigers have no solid option to replace Ordonez so I don’t see him being out for too long.

Rick Porcello improved to 8-4 with another solid outing.  He gave up three runs (one earned) on eight hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.  Bobby Seay pitched out of the sixth and then shut out the Cards in the seventh before Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney threw back to back shutout innings to close out the game.  For Rodney, it was his thirteenth save of the season.

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Next up are the Brewers.  The Tigers need a good showing because their lead is now down to two.  Braden Looper throws for the Brewers and Armando Galarraga goes for the Tigers.  Saturday’s game should be interesting because Alfredo Figaro makes his major league debut.



Justin Verlander Looks Mortal in Loss to Cardinals

The last time Justin Verlander didn’t throw at least five innings in a start was way back on opening day and yesterday against the Cardinals he threw just four frames in a 11-2 blowout loss.  Verlander gave up five on eight hits and he walked two and struck out four.  Nate Robertson was tagged in the following inning for four runs and Ryan Perry was knocked around for two.  The only guy who didn’t give up a run was Brandon Lyon, who threw two shutout frames to close out the game.  Lyon now has quietly gone six straight appearances with eleven innings without giving up a run and at least since the beginning of the month, he’s been one of the Tigers more reliable relievers.

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The Tigers scored both of their runs on solo homers.  Brandon Inge hit his 15th and Miguel Cabrera belted his twelfth.  And no, those numbers are’t backwards.  Inge leads the team now with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs and if you throw in the gold glove caliber defense at third, you could be looking at an All Star.  Who would have guessed at the beginning of the year.

Edwin Jackson gets the start tonight and Todd Wellemeyer throws for the Cardinals.  Wellemeyer has a 5.50 ERA and he’s walked 30 in 75 1/3 innings.  Hopefully the Tigers hitters will be patient with him and pick their spots.

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Dontrelle Ugly

It’s been a weird week plus.  I missed last weekend because I was out of town (i.e., back to school).  Then the night I got back, my son was sick so I was already a day behind trying to catch up.  Then I got sick, then it was my son’s birthday and now here we are.  And what I time to get back into it.

Dontrelle Willis is back to his old tricks.  He walked eight batters in 3 2/3 innings and that solid start about a month ago seems like it was about a year ago.  And with Jeremy Bonderman on the shelf, it might be time to go to option C.  Nate Robertson has been bad then good and Zach Miner has been so so.  Just keep in mind, this would be a fill in fifth starter.  I wouldn’t expect Doyle Alexander numbers, but keeping the Tigers in the game every other start would be a big plus from that spot in the rotation.

Speaking of Zach, he’s now thrown two plus innings in his last four outings and he hasn’t given up a run in over a week.  Maybe it’s time to start talking about converting Joel Zumaya to a starter.

The bad thing is, despite how bad Dontrelle was, the Tigers hung in the game and only lost 6-3.  Don Kelly has been the latest call up and he went two for three with two RBIs.  Unfortunately, the Tigers picked up just three hits from everyone else as they were shutdown at the plate.

Next up is the Cardinals at St. Louis.  Justin Verlander has been the losing streak stopper and that’s his job tomorrow.  Adam Wainwright throws for the Cards.  Despite losing three of four, the Tigers still sit with a three game lead and they’re the lone AL Central team with a winning record.



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Andrew Hess, who’s been writing over at my minor league affiliate site, Tigers Minors, was named to the Florida State League All Star team

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.  Be sure to read his take on things.



Tigers Top White Sox In Ten

Man, this was a wild one.  It looked like the Tigers had this one in the bag.  After walking Curtis Granderson to load the bases, Octavio Dotel served up a bases clearning double to Placido Polanco to make it 6-3 in the seventh.  Things looked even better when Zach Miner cruised through the seventh and while the Tigers hit some road bumps in the eighth, the score still stood 6-3 heading into the ninth.

Fernando Rodney has been pretty good this year.  He’s definitely not the top closer in baseball but he’s done the job.  Still, last night wasn’t pretty.  He walked the first three batters to load up the bases before he got pulled in place of Brandon Lyon.  Lyon got a huge strike out in Jermaine Dye but then he walked home a run before he served up a double to Paul Konerko.  Fortunately, they gunned down the winning run in DeWayne Wise at the plate and didn’t allow another run, hence the extra frame.

Miguel Cabrera then didn’t waste much time and he belted a lead off homer in the tenth.  Lyon struck out two in a one-two-three tenth and the Tigers walked away with the win after having almost walked this one away.

Sugar movie download Brandon Inge hit home run number 13 when he put the Tigers on the board in the second.  He also finished with three runs.  Also, lost in all of the late inning problems was a decent start by Dontrelle Willis.  He gave up three runs in five innings but it could have been a lot worse had he not made a nice diving play with the bases loaded and two outs in the tenth.

Tonight, it’ll be Justin Verlander against John Danks.  Danks hasn’t thrown nearly as well this as he did last year so I like our chances in this one.



Who Should Stay, Who Should Go?

The Tigers and Jim Leyland are in an interesting spot.  They have six starters right now, but because of their doubleheader yesterday and no day off until next Monday, they can essentially address the situation by avoiding it.  Still, with Ryan Perry down in Toledo, they’re going to be a reliever short until they figure out what to do.  The big question is, who should remain in the rotation and who should go.

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Jeremy Bonderman’s debut yesterday was a flop.  His velocity was way down (did he even touch 93?) and he was bounced for three home runs.  This was a guy who struck out 202 batters just three years ago and he only punched one guy out last night.  Granted, he hasn’t pitched at the major league level in over a year and these things take time but the Tigers are in first place and they’re going to be fighting for a playoff berth.  They probably won’t be able to afford to carry an ineffective Bonderman for too long just to give him the time to build back his arm strength.

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Dontrelle Willis has had the time to show us what he can do and so far, that hasn’t looked pretty either.  Yeah, he had a couple of nice starts early but now he’s been roughed up and he’s getting another chance tonight.  If he bombs, it’s safe to say he’ll be one of the guys who’s pulled from the rotation.  Then the question is, what do we do with him?

There’s also the chance that both guys get pulled.  If Bonderman continues to get pummelled and Willis keeps pitching like he has, then the Tigers have more decisions to make.  Outside of one appearance, Nate Robertson has looked decent since returning from the disabled list so maybe he’ll get the spot.  Zach Miner has been more up and down but he’s been throwing the longer outings already so he’d be more ready to step in.  Or maybe it’s just time to make a deal and trade for a back of the rotation starter (it worked with Edwin Jackson) to fill the spot for the rest of the season.

These kind of decisions will have to be made sooner rather then later.  The Tigers do have a nice four game lead but that only gets you so far.  Stay tuned.



Streaks, Jobs and Real Estate

The Tigers have been streaky.  Last weak, they lost four in a row and now they’ve made up for it by winning their last three including a 5-4 win in the first game of their doubleheader today.  Armando Galarraga looked about as good as he has had since April and he almost finished seven frames.  Joel Zumaya improed to 3-0 but he picked up the win because he gave up the tying run in the eighth but Brandon Inge broke the tie in the ninth with his second RBI of the game.

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That leaves us with tonight’s game.  Jeremy Bonderman is making his first start in about a year and he’s already been tagged for two runs in the first.  Ryan Perry was sent down to make room but that still leaves the decision as to who’s going to lose their spot in the rotation.  My guess is it’s due or die for Dontrelle Willis and if he doesn’t show something tomorrow, he could be in the pen.

I’ve had some interesting luck with contract jobs the past week.  I don’t advertise this too much, but I have a couple of businesses that spit off some cash but I haven’t been able to quite develop them to completely replace what I was making when I quit my job a couple of years ago.  So, I’ve supplemented it all with contract work and this is about the time I’d pull something in.  Anyway, this is about the time corporate tax departments are hurting, but I had two places turn me down because they said I was overqualified.  Not that they were anything special or anything, but I’ve now determined that I’m too smart to have a job.

download The Longest Day Since I’m not working, you’d think I’d be writing more but I was out of town this past weekend working on business number three.  I’ve always had an interest in investing and making money in real estate and I’ve been taking some intensive (and excellently taught) classes and one of them was a three day over the weekend.  I finally got to watch the Burn Notice premiere and I was very happy.  The new show on USA, Royal Pains, is something I’m on the fence on.  I’m pretty picky with my television and I’m not sure if that’s going to make the cut.

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It’s now 6-0 White Sox.  Ouch.



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Last night was pretty ugly.  Armando Galarraga had a mediocre start and he also hurt his own cause by helping a run score with an interferance call.  Yeah, Nick Green did everything he could to get the call including running out of the baseline with his head down, but Galarraga put himself there.  The pen didn’t help him out either as two relievers came out and they gave up run after run.  Zach Miner was nailed for four and then Nate Robertson gave up two and neither one of the pitched a full inning in the 10-5 loss.

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The Tigers did rally in the eighth and the inning was capped off by a three run bases clearing triple by Curtis Granderson but the five runs only got them half way there.  In fact Granderson had two fo the Tigers three hits and they cashed in on three errors in the inning.  Let’s just say Josh Beckett threw seven pretty good frames before running out of gas.

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Sometimes, the odds are just stacked against you.  On Tuesday, the Detroit Economic Council voted to tear down what’s left of Tiger Stadium.  I wrote about this in my latest at the Hardball Times, but while senator Carl Levin and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy are both scrambling, it looks like the demolition equipment is on site.  It just goes to show that the words “short sighted” and ” Detroit politician” are usually redundant words.

The Tigers hope to avoid a sweep this afternoon.  Dontrelle Willis gets another go and like Galarraga, he could be pitching for his job with Bonderman coming back. Tim Wakefield throws for the Sox.



Rick Porcello's Winning Streak Ends, Tigers Lose to Sox In Series Opener

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It was Rick Porcello’s shortest outing in over a month and with the struggles, he saw his five game winning streak come to an end.  Porcello gave up three runs but he gave up seven hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings.  Ryan Perry had a really rough outing as well and he walked three including walking in one run and he was tagged for three runs although one of those came across when Brandon Lyon hit Kevin Youkilis with the bases full.

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The Tigers matched the Red Sox with nine hits but only one of those crossed the plate.  Curtis Granderson went three for four with his ninth stolen base while Miguel Cabrera went two for four with an RBI.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan on dvd Tomorrow night, it’ll be Josh Beckett going up against Armando Galarraga.  After being one of the few stars on the mound last year, Galarraga might be pitching for his job because Jeremy Bonderman is going to be coming off the disabled list soon.

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