Archive for August, 2009

Rays Pummel Jarod Washburn

Jarod Washburn hadn’t been very effective since he put on a Tigers uniform and now this deal looks like a big time bust unless Washburn can turn things around in a hurry.  He had his worst start of the season and the only good thing you can say about it is he did pitch into the sixth inning even after giving up six runs in the top of the first inning.  He then threw three shutout innings before giving up a run each in the fifth and sixth.   He’s seen his ERA baloon from 2.64 to 3.55 since he’s joined the Tigers and that’s tough to accomplish this late in the season.

Ryan Perry didn’t fare much better and he gave up three in 2 1/3 innings.  The only pitcher to escape unscathed was Fu-Te Ni, who threw a shutout ninth.  I was at work (I’m back to work) so I didn’t get a chance to see this train wreck.

Carlos Guillen provided the bulk of the offense with a pair of home runs, three runs and four RBIs.  He finished four for five.  Curtis Granderson didn’t pick up a hit or a walk but he scored two runs.  Placido Polanco went two for three and he scored a run.

The White Sox and Twins kick off a three game series beginning tonight in Minnesota.  I’ll probably turn this one on tonight.  At least for today, I’ll be rooting for the White Sox.  It’s be nice if they took two of three.  The Tigers host Cleveland beginning tomorrow and it’ll be Edwin Jackson against Carlos Carrasco, who will be making his major league debut.

Placido Polanco – Home Run Hero

Justin Verlander had one bad inning in his start earlier this afternoon when he gave up a pair of home runs in a three run fourth.  The Tigers took a 3-1 deficit into the eighth and it looked like it was going to be another lackluster performance by the offense before Placido Polanco went deep with a big three run home run.    Give some credit to Clete Thomas as well.  He doubled to lead off the seventh and he pushed Jeff Niemann out of the game.  Grant Balfour couldn’t hold the lead and the rest is history.

Speaking of Clete, he finished with three hits and he scored on Curtis Granderson’s single in the third inning.  Granderson singled, drew a walk and he also scored on Polanco’s long ball. 

Justin Verlander picked up his fifteenth win.  He gave up the three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in eight innings.  With five full weeks, Verlander should get six more starts unless the Tigers pitch him on four days rest (and opting to go without a fifth starter at times) in which he might get a seventh start.  A lot will depend on whether the Tigers can clinch early or if they stumble and it goes down to the wire.  Anyway, my point was going to be Verlander’s chances at 20 wins and it doesn’t look too great unless he’s lights out the rest of the way.

The final is tomorrow afternoon in a somewhat rare Monday afternoon game.  It’ll be James Shields going up against Jarrod Washburn.

Rick Porcello, Brandon Lyon Shine In Tigers Win Over Rays

The Tigers went back to their arms to pull out the win in this one as they took care of the Rays 6-2 at Comerica Park.  Porcello won his eleventh game of the season with a really nice start.  He gave up one run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.  He left in the sixth after giving up his first run and stereotypical start for Porcello with nine ground outs and three fly outs.  Brandon Lyon also had a nice outing with two perfect innings.  Bobby Seay got into trouble in the ninth and he gave up a run before Leyland went to Fernando Rodney out of the pen to get the final out.

Gerald Laird was the hitting star in this one and he went two for three with a double, a run and two RBIs.  Curtis Granderson doubled, singled and drove in a run while Brandon Inge singled, scored two and he hit his 25th home run of the season.

The White Sox lost and the Twins won so it’s Minnesota who’s now in second, 4 1/2 back (five in the loss column) of the Tigers.  Nate Robertson makes his first start of the season and he’ll go up against the Rays former number one pick David Price.  Price hasn’t quite lived up to the hype yet but he’s had decent starts in four of his last five outings.  He just turned 24 earlier this week.

Tigers Doubled Up By Angels, Fail to Sweep Series

The Tigers lost their finale with the Angels this afternoon and they left the West Coast with a 3-3 split between the Angels and A’s.  Not too shabby considering the Tigers road record.  Now they come home for four against the Rays and they won’t have to go back on the road until this time next week.

Edwin Jackson took the loss and he fell to 10-6.  He gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.  Ryan Perry then came in and he held the Angels hitless in 1 2/3 innings.  For Jackson, this is the closest his ERA has been to three since it popped over the mark for one game after a rough start on May 4 against the Twins.  It also breaks his three game winning streak.

The Tigers scored both of their runs on a two run home run by Adam Everett in the fifth inning.  Everett was also the only hitter to pick up two hits while Marcus Thames and Magglio Ordonez reached base twice with a single and a walk.

The White Sox are losing 2-1 in the eighth.  The Twins are down to the Orioles 3-1 in the fourth. It’d be nice if both of those teams lost.  The Tigers have the day off tomorow to travel back to Detroit.  Friday it’ll be Matt Garza going up against Rick Porcello.  In game two on Saturday, Nate Robertson will make his return to the rotation. The Tigers optioned Armando Galarraga to Triple A to give him some rest because of an inflamed elbow.

Tigers Extend Lead With Second Straight Win Over Angels

Despite all of the Tigers’ troubles on the road, even if they lose this afternoon, they’ll have a 3-3 split in their west coast trip against Oakland and Angels.  They did it with another nice win last night.  Jarrod Washburn made one mistake (three run home run) that put the Tigers down but he pitched a solid game outside of that.  Then the pen threw three shutout innings and the bats came through with some timely hits to give the Tigers a 4 1/2 game lead (five in the loss column) in the AL Central.  The only bad news is the resurgance of the Twins, who have won five straight and who are now tied with the White Sox at an even 63-63 record.

Miguel Carbera had another nice game.  He put the Tigers on the board in the first when he pushed home Placido Polanco on a ground out in the top of the first.  Then he belted a solo shot in the fifth to tie the game at 3-3.  The Tigers then took the lead in the top of the seventh with a somewhat rare event when Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco hit back to back triples.  Polanco later scored an insurance run on a sac. fly by Magglio Ordonez.

Jarrod Washburn gave up the three runs in six innings and he improved to 9-7.  Zach Miner walked four in 1 2/3 shutout innings while Fernando Rodney got into trouble in the ninth (first and second with nobody out) but he pitched out of it to earn his 28th save of the season.

One more game before the Tigers come home to take on the Rays in a wrap around series.  It’ll be Edwin Jackson going up against Joe Saunders.

Miguel Cabrera Drives in Five In Tigers Win Over Angels

The Tigers won a shootout last night as they dropped the Angels 10-7 in a game that saw Miguel Cabrera drive in five runs.  He finished the game three for five with a home run, two doubles and he scored twice.  Every Tiger starter had a hit in this one and the only Tiger starter who didn’t score a run was Gerald Laird. Carlos Guillen continued his solid second half with his sixth home run, a single and three RBIs.

Justin Verlander picked up the win and he improved to 14-7 although it was hardly his best start.  He gave up four runs on ten hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.  Brandon Lyon was shelled for three runs in the eighth that made the game interesting and that was his worst outing in a while.  From June 2 through the beginning of the game yesterday, he had given up just three earned runs combined and he hadn’t given up a run a run of his own since July 4.  Fernando Rodney got the final four outs (two via strikeout) and he picked up his 27th save of the season.

Tonight, it’ll be Jarod Washburn going up against another one of his former teams.  The Angels will throw John Lackey, who’s had a decent season despite a mediocre 8-6 record.  The White Sox lost yesterday so the Tigers lead is back to 3 1/2 games and it’d be nice if the Tigers could stretch that out even further.

Road Woes Continue As Tigers Drop Rubber Game to Athletics

Once again, the Tigers struggled on the road.  This time it was their first of two three game series out on the west coast.  They dropped two of three against the Athletics and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier because next up is four against the Angels.  Jack Cust took Rick Porcello deep twice as he took the loss in this one.  He fell to 10-8 and he gave up five runs on eight hits and a walk with one strikeout.  Ryan Perry also struggled in the eighth and he gave up a pair of home runs, including a three run shot with two inherited runners.  It was too bad because in the top of the eighth, Miguel Cabrera had just belted a two run home run to make it a one run game.

Curtis Granderson also went yard in this one.  He belted his 24th of the season to lead off the game.  Cabrera finished the game three for four with two RBIs and two runs. The only other hitter with more then one hit was Ramon Santiago with a pair of singles.

We’ve got a good matchup between two young pitchers tomorrow when Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver square off.  Weaver’s having the best full season of his career and he’s finally living up the hype when he was a first round pick back in 2004.  Speaking of Weaver, Jeff Weaver is making a comeback of sorts with the Dodgers.  He’s having a solid year and he’s done both as a starter and a long reliever.  Not bad seeing he hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2007 and he hadn’t done anything meaningful since taking us to task back in the 2006 World Series.  It’s hard to believe it was over 7 years ago that he got traded.

Prosect Sleeper Alert

After a rough 2008 debut season in the minors, Jared Gayhart, the Tigers 13th round pick in 2008, has put together a nice season.  He’s gone all the way from West Michigan to Erie and he make his first start since joining the Tigers organization yesterday.  Not too shabby because he threw five shutout innings and at his three stops this year he has 69 strikeouts in 72 innings and a .182 batting average against.  He’ll probably start at Erie next year, but that puts him that much closer to seeing the big leagues.

Tigers Rally Back From Four Down to Beat Mariners

The Tigers won their rubber game with the Mariners yesterday afternoon with an impressive come from behind victory.  The Tigers were down by four runs two different times (4-0 and 6-2) and they managed to put this one in the win column.  They scored three in the sixth to make it a one run game and then Clete Thomas singled home Miguel Cabrera for the walk off hit.

Alex Avila came up big again.  He roped a two out single that capped off the three run sixth to put the Tigers just one back.  Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge each hit solo shots and Raburn finished with three hits.  Miguel Cabrera went two for five and he scored a pair of runs.

Prior to joining the Tigers, Jarrod Washburn had given up five or more runs in a start just three times over 20 starts.  Since joining the Tigers, he’s done it three times in four starts as the pen and hitters had to bail him out of this one.  Despite going 0-1 with a 6.04 ERA with the Tigers though, Detroit has won three of his four starts although they needed plenty of offense in two of those games.

Zach Miner threw two shutout innings and Bobby Seay pitched a shutout ninth to improve to 4-2.  Neither reliever gave up a baserunner so you had an exceptional day from the bullpen in this one.

Now the Tigers head out west for three against the Athletics.  It’s a 10:05 start time tonight and Edwin Jackson will take on Gio Gonzalez.  The White Sox play the Orioles this weekend and the Twins play Kansas City.

Ichiro Home Run Costs Justin Verlander In Tigers Loss to Mariners

Justin Verlander had another solid start he just made one big mistake when he served up a home run to Ichiro.  The two run blast turned a 1-0 deficit into a three run deficit that the Tigers never recovered from. It also didn’t help that the Tigers made Ian Snell look like a Cy Young candidate.  Magglio Ordonez had three of the Tigers six hits (all singles from Ordonez) and the lone run came on a solo shot by Carlos Guillen.   Carlos has an .873 OPS with five home runs since returning from the disabled list so he has provided a bit of a boost.  Now it’d be nice if Aubrey Huff (one for eight since joining the Tigers) did what the Tigers were hoping for when they dealt for him.

Verlander struck out ten and that was the sixth time he got into double figures in strikeouts  It also brings his season total up to 204.  The last time a Tiger struck out 200 was Jeremy Bonderman in 2006 but Bonderman had just 202 in 34 starts while Verlander has 204 in 26 starts.  300 is probably out of reach but 223 would put him into the top ten for the Tigers in a single season (Jack Morris in 1986).  250  is a possiblity and the last time a Tigers did that was back in 1972 when Mickey Lolich did it.

The White Sox and Twins both won so the Tigers lead is back down to two.  This afternoon it’ll be Jarrod Washburn against Ryan Rowland-Smith.

Tigers Rally Late to Top Mariners

This was a nice win.  Rick Porcello had a solid start before the pen kind of messed things up but then the Tigers stormed back in the eighth inning with four runs to walk away with this one.  Six of the eight runs that were scored in the game all came in the eighth.

Porcello struck out a career high eight batters as he needed 93 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings.  He left with the bases loaded but Ryan Perry got Franklin Gutierrez to get out of the jam.  Perry then pitched a shutout seventh but Leyland may have left him in there for too long because he came out in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single that started the Mariners two run rally in the inning.

The Tigers struck back in the eighth though once Felix Hernandez was out of there.  Alex Avila belted his third career home run to cut the lead in half and then Miguel Cabrera came up huge with a two run single to give the Tigers the lead.  Ryan Raburn then came home on a weird double steal to give the Tigers some insurance.  The pitcher, Sean White, did that goofy fake to third, throw to first and it almost worked because they caught Miguel Cabrera in a run down.  While that was happening, Raburn bolted home and scored.  Cool stuff.

Fernando Rodney gave up a couple of hits but he struck out two in a shutout ninth to pick up his 25th save.  Cabrera finished the game three for four with two RBIs while Ramon Santiago had a big single in that eighth inning and he eventually scored.

The White Sox lost a tough one as they blew a 4-1 lead against the Royals.  That gives the Tigers a three game cushion.  Tonight, it’ll be Ian Snell against Justin Verlander.    Verlander bounced back from three mediocre starts in a row to throw eight shutout innings against the Red Sox last week.  Hopefully that’s the Verlander we see.

Tigers Sign Top Draft Pick Jacob Turner

Dave Dombrowski and the front office was busy yesterday as they pushed a midnight deadline to sign their top draft picks.  Dombrowski did it again though and he inked top draft pick Jacob Turner, second round pick Andrew Oliver and sixth round pick Daniel Fields to deals before the midnight deadline.

Turner got an impressive payday with a $4.7 million signing bonus.  Andrew Oliver’s signing bonus was $1.495 million and Fields’, the son of former Tiger player and coach Bruce Fields, signed on for $1.625 million signing bonus.

Tigers Trade Brett Jacobson for Aubrey Huff

The Tigers pulled the trigger on a deal that’ll bring Aubrey Huff to the team for pitching prospect Brett Jacobson.  This is basically the left handed bat the Tigers were looking for a couple of weeks ago at the trade deadline, just Huff’s power is all but sapped.  He’s hit just 13 home runs this year and his OPS against right handed pitching is just .767 soI’d hardly call this is a high impact trade.

Jacobson was the Tigers fourth round draft pick last season.  He was having a fair season for Lakeland after a lights out short season with the Whitecaps last season.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good – Armando Galarraga bounced back with a solid start.  He pitched just five innings, but he gave up just two runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.  He lasted 92 pitches, which is good considering he’s been sick and the pen pitched four shutout innings before Fernando Rodney gave up the go ahead run in the top of the tenth.

The Bad – Ryan Raburn made three errors at third base, including two in the tenth inning that led to the game winning run.  Fernando Rodney took the loss in this one, but Ryan Raburn definitely gets an assist.

The Ugly – This game should have never went to ten frames because the Tigers were 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position.  They outhit the Royals 10-5 and one of their runs didn’t even come on a hit (Adam Everett scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Sigh, we should be happy because the Tigers had a nice little winning streak but this is definitely a game the Tigers should have won.  Magglio Ordonez belted a home run and four hitters had a pair of hits each. So the offense was there, just not the timely offense.

The Tigers get a much needed day off tomorrow before they host the Mariners for three.  Game one pits Rick Porcello against Felix Hernandez on Tuesday so that should be a good one.  Jarrod Washburn pitches against is old team in the final on Thursday afternoon.

The White Sox are early in their game with the A’s.  A win by Chicago means out lead is down to a game and a half.  In fact I’m going to tune into that right after I hit publish.

Verlander Helps Tigers Salvage Finale Against Red Sox

Well, the first three games in this series didn’t go very well but Justin Verlander fulfilled his role as ace by coming up with a shutdown outing against one of the better offenses in baseball. Verlander was throwing 100 mph late in the game and he needed it to strike out eight in eight shutout frames in a 2-0 win.  In all, he gave up just four hits and a walk for his thirteenth win of the season. Fernando Rodney pitched a hitless ninth to pick up his 24th save of the season.

Ryan Raburn not only had a good game with the stick, but he made a nice play at third base as well.  Raburn put the Tigers on the board in the fourth with an RBI single and then he belted a solo home run in the seventh inning.  Not too shabby considering the Tigers had just five hits.  Magglio Ordonez singled and he drew a walk to join Raburn as the lone Tigers who reached base twice.

The White Sox were off and the Twins lost so the Tigers have a two and a half game lead (three in the loss column) heading into a three game weekend series at home against the Royals.  It’ll be Zach Greinke against Jarrod Washburn tomorrow night so hopefully the third time is the charm for the recently acquired southpaw.

Tigers Survive Another Rocky Start By Washburn

The Tigers bounced back from Saturday’s beat down to edge out another tight on yesterday afternoon.  Even better, the Tigers came back from a 3-0 deficit with their big inning being a four run fourth inning.  The Twins never let go though and Michael Cuddyer’s second home run of the game in the ninth made it a one run game but that’s as close as they’d get.

Jarrod Washburn gave the Tigers six innings but he gave up five runs on ten hits and a walk.  Let’s hope Washburn’s last two starts as an exception and he bounces back but I have a feeling his “savior” tag is already long gone.  Brandon Lyon picked up the win and he improved to 5-4 and he’s quietly become the Tigers big pickup of the offseason.  After some early struggles, he’s posted ERA’s of 0.56 (June), 1.35 (July) and 0.00 (August in 3 2/3 innings) the past month and change.  He hasn’t given up a run in his last eleven appearances and he’s gone 2-0 with a save and four holds in that time.

Fernando Rodney gave up the ninth inning home run but he had two runs to work with so he still picked up save number 23. Bobby Seay and Ryan Perry combined to give up a run in the seventh.

The big hit of the game was a one out single in the eighth inning by Placido Polanco.  Clete Thomas also pitched in the eighth with a run scoring ground out.  Miguel Cabrera hit his 23rd home run and he drove in two while Marcus Thames went dee with his twelth, that also was his 100th career home run.  Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen each had three hits and Curtis Granderson joined the 20/20 club again with his 20th stolen base.

The White Sox also lost so the Tigers got their three game lead back.  It’s a four game lead in the loss column and the Tigers have a six loss lead over the Twins.  Unfortunately, the Tigers travel to Boston against a tough Red Sox team that’s coming off a three game sweep to the Yankees.  It’s Edwin Jackson against Brad Penny in the opener and I’m pretty sure this one is on ESPN.

Tigers Come Out On Top In Ugly Game

This game looked pretty brutal from the box score.  I was at a wedding so I didn’t get to see it but the Tigers and Twins combined for 18 runs, 30 hits, nineteen strikeouts and three errors.  The Tigers came out on top mostly because of a six run first inning that was capped off by a two run home run by Alex Avila.  He finished the game two for four with four RBIs.  Miguel Carbera also went yard with number 22 and he finished with three RBIs.  Curtis Granderson scored three times and Placido Polanco had four hits.  Seven different Tigers scored but oddly only four drove in runs.

Armando Galarraga had a rough start also he had a nice lead to work with.  He needed 109 pitches to get through five innings and he gave up four runs on eight hits and five walks.  Ryan Perry gave up a pair and Fernando Rodney struggled again in a non save situtation and he gave up two runs in the ninth.

I missed Carl Pavano getting traded to the Twins. It looks like the Twins got him for the infamous player to be named later.  Anyway, he makes his Twins debut and his last start was a gem against the Tigers a week ago.  Justin Verlander throws for the Tigers as he goes for win number thirteen.  It’d be nice if the Tigers could bury the Twins and make it a two team race through the final month and a half.  A series sweep would go along way towards accomplishing that.  The White Sox also lost so the Tigers have a nice little three game lead.

Traded Prospects Don’t Crack List

While Lucas French could make more of an immediate impact for the Mariners, many thought Mauricio Robles as the guy with the greatest long term potential between the two players that were traded for Jarod Washburn.  What’s interesting is Baseball America came out with a top ten traded prospect list and neither guy showed up on the list.  Robles did show up as an honorable mention (so he’s in the 11-15 range).  Everyone is worried that this is a John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander redux but my bet is, we didn’t get a Doyle Alexander and Robles isn’t the next John Smoltz.

Edwin Jackson Throws Eight Shutout Innings In Tigers Win

The Tigers took a 2-1 advantage in their four game series with the Orioles as Edwin Jackson bounced back from a rough start. Jackson threw eighth shutout innings before he gave up a two run home run to Adam Jones in the ninth inning.  Jackson then yielded to Fernando Rodney, who also got into trouble in the ninth but he pitched out of his own jam to pick up his 22nd save of the season.  Jackson’s final line had him improving to 8-5 and he gave up two runs on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

Magglio Ordonez went two for four with a solo home run, his sixth long ball of the season.  Placido Polanco had a two run single in the eighth inning and he came around to score on Miguel Cabrera’s single. 

Tomorrow is the finale and it’ll be an afternoon showdown. Rick Porcello throws for the Tigers and David Hernandez goes for Baltimore.  The Twins are losing but the White Sox are winning so we’ll see what happens with the rest of the division here soon.

The Tigers also made a couple of moves.  Alex Avila and Chris Lambert were called up from the minors.  Avila was the Tigers fifth round draft pick last year and the Tigers now have two of the five players who were drafted in 2008 on their big league roster.  Dusty Ryan and Wilkin Ramirez were sent down in their place.

Great minds must think a like.  When I titled my morning piece “Washout” I hadn’t read any other news sources.  The this afternoon I was sitting in a clients lobby and I noticed the headline for the Tigers recap was named the same thing.


For those Tigers fan hoping for the next Doyle Alexander, things didn’t go quite as planned last night.  Jarrod Washburn made his Tigers debut and gave up six runs before he departed with an out in the sixth inning.  Oddly, the Orioles eight run offensive onslaught came without Luke Scott in the lineup.  Washburn gave up runs in four of the six innings he threw in and two of the six hits he gave up went over the fence.  Zach Miner didn’t throw much better and he gave up two runs in 2 1/3 innings while Fu-Te Ni did his job (albeit with the game out of reach) and he threw 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief.

Magglio Ordonez showed some life and he went two for fie with an RBI.  Miguel Cabrera doubled and he drew a walk.  The Tigers did put some runners on base against Brian Matusz in his major league debut but in a couple of instances, he showed some poise and pitched out of the jams. 

The White Sox and Twins both won so things are once again tighter (one and 2 1/2 games back).  Edwin Jackson gets the start tonight and the Orioles will throw Jeremy Guthrie.

Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson both started their rehab assignments last night.  Neither appeared to light the world on fire but hopefully they’re both on the road to their way back.

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