Archive for September, 2009

Big Win

The Tigers not only beat Carl Pavano for the first time this season but the Tigers cut their magic number down to two in the process.  A win tomorrow means the Tigers have their first division championship in 22 years.  The 7-2 win was sweet and it was three big hits surrounded by a ton of support.  Brandon Inge had a two run double in the second that made it a 2-2 game, Ramon Santiago singled home two later in the second and then Magglio Ordonez doubled home three in the fifth inning and he did it with two outs.  This quite possibly was the Tigers most important win since, well, yesterday.

Eddie Bonine got it done again.  He gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in five innings.  Zach Miner then pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings and Brandon Lyon struck out two in the eighth and he pitched out of a jam (and made up for yesterday).  Fernando Rodney then pitched a shutout ninth as the Tigers walked away with the 7-2 win.

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Tomorrow, it’ll be Scott Baker against Nate Robertson.  For the Twins, it’s win or go home.  At this point, they have to pretty much win their final four games.  For the Tigers, then need just one win (even if it’s against the Sox) out of their next four to clinch at least a share of the division title.  I like the way the math is looking.

Pins and Needles

Well, the Tigers won tonight.  My blood pressure is still recovering but a win is a win and that puts the Tigers magic number down to four.  The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead, saw the Twins cut it down to 5-4 by the eighth and the an insurance run by the Tigers in the bottom of the eighth proved to be neccesary because the Twins scored another run in the ninth and left a man on second when the game ended.

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Justin Verlander picked up his 18th win of the season.  He struck out eight and the pivotal moment of the game was when Jim Leyland left in their to face Michael Cuddyer in the with two outs and a runner on second despite Verlander being well over the 120 pitch mark.  It proved to be a smart move because Verlander got Cuddyer to ground out to Brandon Inge.  Verlander was still hitting 98 on the gun in that final at bat.

Magglio Ordonez had a big two run, two out single in the third inning.  Miguel Cabrera put the Tigers on the board in the first and Curtis Granderson went yard in the ninth for what turned out to be the winning run.  For Granderson, it was his 30th of the season.  For Cabrera, it was number 33.

In the afternoon game, the Tigers lost a tough one 3-2 in ten innings.  Rick Porcello gave up just one run in 6 1/3 innings and Brandon Lyon gave up two tenth inning runs and he took the loss.

It’s weird not having to worry about other games. The Tigers and Twins are playing each other and the White Sox no longer matter (as a playoff contendor, they could play the role as spoiler later this week).  If the Tigers win the next two, they’re in the playoffs.

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Well, the Tigers big series with the Twins will kick off tomorrow instead of today.  With the rain and 40 mph gusts, it would have been an interesting game.  The noon projected temperature is supposed to be 55, not much higher then the temp right now and there’s a 30% chance of rain all day.  I’m assuming they’ll stick with Porcello/Blackburn in the afternoon game so that leaves Justin Verlander and Brian Duensing in the evening game.

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One Shall Stand and One Shall Fall

Yeah, old Optimus Prime knew what he was talking about.  Pretty much eveything that’s happened the last 155 games has come down to this four game series between the Twins and the Tigers in the AL Central.  The Tigers come in with a two game lead and their magic number is six.  Simple math tells us that if the Tigers take three of four, the race is over.  Even a more realistic split would put the Tigers one win away from a tie for the Central crown.  The two game lead might not look like much, but it’s huge with just seven games left in the season.

Over the weekend, the Tigers didn’t help themselves by losing two of three to the Sox.  They got plenty of offense in Saturday’s 12-5 win in a game where oddly they have to come back from a 5-0 deficit.  They got shut out by Jake Peavy and the pen on Friday and then yesterday,  they blew a 2-1 lead and lost 8-4.  What was disconcerting in that game was how Fernando Rodney was roughed up for three runs that put the game way out of reach.  They make a big deal out of his save/non-save splits (one more reason the stat is stupid because players actually seem to pitch to it). but those eighth inning runs really came back to haunt the Tigers because they were able to put together a rally in the ninth.  Now maybe they don’t score those ninth inning runs in a close game, but still.

Curtis Granderson hit a lead off home run, his 28th long ball of the season.  Edwin Jackson took the loss and he fell to 13-8 on the season.

Game one is tonight and this is effectively the playoffs with the Tigers having a built in 2-0 lead.  It’s Rick Porcello against Nick Blackburn in the opener.  Blackburn is 1-1 against the Tigers this year and his last complete game was a win against Detroit.  Porcello is 1-2 against the Twins with one really good outing (seven shutout innings), one okay outing (three runs in six innings a week and a half ago) and one terrible outing (six runs in four innings in early July).  This first game is particularly huge because of the significant swing between a three game lead and a one game lead.

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Indians Sweep

The Tigers held off the Indians long enough to walk away with their fourth straight win as they finished a three game sweep over the Indians.  Justin Verlander looked sharp after a couple of mediocre starts and he improved to 17-9  He gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with eleven strikeouts in seven innings.  The eleven punch outs give him 256 on the season and that’s the fifth best season total for a Tiger.  He’d have to get to 271 to pass Mickey Lolich at number four.  The top season is Mickey Lolich in 1971 when he struck out 308 (the only time a Tiger has struck out 300 or more).

The bullpen made this one interesting.  Bobby Seay came into the eighth, gave up back to back hits then a run before yielding to Brandon Lyon who pitched out the jam.  Fernando Rodney then came and gave up a two run home run in the ninth but he still picked up the save  because he had three runs to work with.

The Tigers big inning was the fourth when they scored four.  Four different Tigers drove in runs in the frame.  Carlos Guillen continued his hot hitting and he went three for three with a walk, a double, a run and an RBI.  Brandon Inge went two for five with a run and an RBI.

The Twins were off so the Tigers magic number is now down to eight.  Detroit kicks off a three game set in Chicago and it’ll be Eddie Bonine (???) going up against Jake Peavy in the opener.  The Twins go to Kansas City and it’d be nice if the Royals could help us out a little bit.

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Edwin Jackson Shines In Big Win For Tigers

It’s funny how things work out.  While I didn’t blast the trade, I was skeptical of the move that sent Matt Joyce to the Rays for Edwin Jackson but it was interesting to see that on the same day Jackson was pitching at the front of the rotation in a heated pennant race, Matt Joyce was the starting outfielder in the Triple-A championship.  Jackson threw seven shutout innings and while they weren’t all easy, he pitched to his thirteenth win of the season.

Brandon Lyon and Bobby Seay got into trouble in the eighth but even after Lyon walked in a run, he was able to strikeout Luis Valbuena to get himself out of the jam.  Fernando Rodney pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his 34th save of the season.

Ryan Raburn put the Tigers on the board in the third with a solo home run.  It was his 14th of the season.  Magglio Ordonez went three for four and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI double that proved to be the difference in the game.

The Twins did win so the Tigers magic number is now 10.  Tonight, it’ll be Rick Porcello against Justin Masterson.  Hopefully the White Sox can steal the finale against the Twins and help us out just a bit.


The Tigers scraped together a solid win and gave Tiger fans some relief as they added to their AL Central Division lead with a 6-2 win over the Twins.  Nate Robertson was good enough through five and the bullpen was very solid as the Tigers took the finale in Minnesota.  Robertson improved to 2-2 and he gave up two runs in five frames while Zach Miner threw two shutout innings of relief.  Fernando Rodney even got it done in a non-save situation in what may have been the Tigers most important game of the season.

Placido Polanco gave the Tigers the lead for good with a two run single in the fifth inning.  He finished with two hits, three RBIs and a run.  Ryan Raburn had a  solo home run while Magglio Ordonez went two for four with a run and an RBI.  The Tigers left eleven men on base, so this one could have been a lot worse.

The win gives the Tigers a three game lead as they go into the middle series of their final road trip of the season.  The magic number is eleven so the Tigers could hypothetically clinch the division before the Twins come to Detroit the following week but they’d need an excellent week to go with a train wreck by the Twins.  The Tigers do have tomorrow off before they head to Cleveland for three games.  It’ll be Edwin Jackson versus Aaron Laffey in the opener.  The Twins take on the White Sox starting tomorrow in Chicago.

Double Down

The Tigers late season skid continued as they lost to the second place Twins for the second straight time.  It looks like Jim Leyland rode Justin Verlander just a bit too long in this one and while I’m all for riding the horse that got you there, this went a little overboard.  In all, Verlander threw 128 pitches and he came out just in time to see Brandon Lyon give up a three run home run (two of those runs went against Verlander) to put this game out of reach.  The end result is the Tigers now have just a two game lead in the Central with one more game in Minnesota.

Verlander was very good through the first seven innings.  He gave up a first inning run on a solo shot by Joe Mauer but then he pitched six scoreless frames.  The loss puts Verlander at 16-9 on the season.

Placido Polanco went four for five with two runs.  Miguel Cabrera went three for four and he put the Tigers on the board in the first inning with an RBI single.  Aubrey Huff singled home the other run for Detroit.

The finale is tomorrow at 2:10.  It’ll be Nate Robertson against Scott Baker.  This is a big game folks.

Gut Check Time

Since winning six straight a week and a half ago, the Tigers have now lost seven of their last ten.  The Twins have been winning but not enough so the Tigers enter their three game set in Minnesota with a four game lead.  If the Tigers can win two of three, it’ll put their magic number into single digits.  If they can pull off a sweep, they can pretty much put the division away.  Conversely, if they play like they’ve played the last week and a half, things are probably going to go down to the wire.

The Tigers failed to pick up their half game this afternoon as they were dismantled, again, by the Royals.  Edwin Jackson was roughed up and Zach Greinke pitched like he has all season in the 9-2 loss.  Jackson fell to 12-7 and he gave up five runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts in five innings.  Armando Galarraga was also roughed up and he gave up three runs in just 1/3 of an inning.  The only pitcher to escape unscathed was Jeremy Bonderman, who pitched 1 2/3 innings to close out the game.

Miguel Cabrera belted his 30th home run of the season and he became the first Tiger since Tony Clark in 1998 and 1999 to hit 30 home runs in back to back seasons.  He also brought his season RBI total up to 91 with the two run shot.  Aubrey Huff was the lone Tiger with a multi-hit game with his two singles.

The Tiger and Twins kick things off tomorrow night and it’ll be Rick Porcello against Brian Duensing.  Duensing has won three straight decisions and in his last outing against the A’s, he threw seven shutout innings.  Game two is on FOX at 4 pm on Saturday and then Sunday’s game is a typical afternoon affair.

Tigers Win For Ernie Harwell

Yesterday, the Tigers celebrated Ernie Harwell’s career as it was announced a couple of weeks ago that he has inoperable cancer.  Ernie kept it short and sweet which is one of the things that made him a great radio announcer.  I think someone had a similar sign at the game, but for me, Ernie Harwell = Baseball.  I grew up in a day when there weren’t as many games on television so the radio was the medium of choice for baseball fans.  I’ve heard this from others, but Ernie’s voice was what I fell asleep to as a kid most nights and if you walked (yes, we did this back in the day) around your neighborhood, you’d see a handful of people sitting in their garage or on their porch with the radio tuned to the Tigers.

One of my highpoints since I began writing was having the chance to interview Ernie Harwell.  It was in early 2007 when he had just come out with his audio scrapbook.  You can check out part one and part two over at the Hardball Times.

The Tigers came back from a 3-0 deficit yesterday so the Tigers are doing their best to hold back the Twins.  Eddie Bonine gave up three runs by the end of the fourth and he pretty much left it up to the pen.  Four relievers then combined to throw four shutout innings to close out the game and that gave the Tigers the chance to come back.  Zach Miner threw a shutout sixth and he improved to 7-5 while Fernando Rodney did it in the ninth and he picked up his 33rd save.  Bobby Seay picked up his 27th hold and that’s amongst the league leaders.

Adam Everett led the Tigers at the plate.  He had an RBI double in the fourth and then he singled home the tying run in the sixth. Placido Polanco and Curtis Graderson also had two hits each and it was Polanco who singled home the go ahead run in the 4-3 win.

The Tigers still have the 4 1/2 game lead and their magic number 13.  The Tigers play this afternoon and that’ll set the scene for the Tigers three game set in Minnesota this weekend.  It’s Edwin Jackson against Zach Greinke so this should be a good one.

Ninth Inning Comeback Helps Tigers Salvage Split With Jays

Aubrey Huff belted a three run home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the Tigers into extra frames against the Jays and then Brandon Inge scored on a Marco Scutaro error to give the Tigers an impressive come from behind win.  Scutaro also made an error in the ninth that put Curtis Granderon on to lead off the ninth so he’s definitely the goat in this one.

Justin Verlander had one bad inning.  He gave up five runs in sixth including a pair of home runs.  In all, he gave up ten hits for just the second time all season.  He did strikeout nine and that brings his season total up to 239 on the season.  Fu-Te Ni and Jeremy Bonderman both threw shutout frames and Bobby Seay got the last Jay out in the tenth and he improved to 6-3.

Ryan Raburn had a nice game and he went two for three with a solo home run and an RBI single.  Huff had the three run blast and he did it as a pinch hitter.  Magglio Ordonez went two for four with a walk and he’s now pushed his season batting average up to .296.

The Twins won but the Tigers still shaved that magic number down to 14.  Jarrod Washburn gets the nod as the Royals come to town.  Robinson Tejada throws for the Royals.

Tigers Snap Five Game Skid

The Tigers snapped their five game losing streak yesterday.  Rick Porcello bounced back from a rough start and he picked up his thirteenth win of the season while the bullpen threw three shutout frames to seal it up.  Porcello gave up two runs on four its and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings with an 8-4 groundball to flyball ratio.  Fernando Rodney actually threw a shutout inning in a non-save situation and both Zach Miner and Brandon Lyon threw a shutout frame.

Miguel Cabrera went two for three with two walks, two runs and an RBI.  Magglio Ordonez continued his solid second half and he went three for four with a run.  Brandon Inge went two for four with two RBIs.

Speaking of Ordonez, he’s hitting .360 since the All Star Break. The problem is, he’s driven in just 12 run in 43 games.  Still, he has a .954 OPS during that time and while he hasn’t gotten the homeruns, he has a .432 OBP so he’s getting on base for the team.  Not sure if it warrants the contract extension, but he’s getting it done in his own way.

The Tigers finish up the wrap around series tonight.    Justin Verlander gets the nod against David Purcey.

Tigers Swept By Royals

Jarrod Washburn had his second best start since joining the Tigers.  Unfortunately, he still gave up three runs in five innings and he needed 105 pitches to get through the five frames.  He yielded to Zach Miner out out of the pen and Miner gave up three runs combined in the sixth and seventh in the 7-4 loss.  Miner took the loss and he fell to 6-5.  Eddie Bonine gave up a run in two innings and he Fe-Tu Ni was the lone Tiger not to give up a run but he pitched to just one batter and walked him.

The Tigers racked up 15 hits but managed just four runs as they left ten guys on base in this one.  Every Tiger regular had at least one hit and Magglio Ordonez went three for four with a walk.  Wilkin Ramirez went two for three with two runs and an RBI.

The Twins also lost so that helped.  Not the come home to play three against the Jays.  Back in the day, the Tigers and Jays were a hot ticket.  Now they play each other 6-8 times a year and rarely does it mean anything.  This is a wrap around series but Monday’s game is at night.  In fact the lone day game is on Sunday.

Tigers Held to Five Hits In Second Straight Loss to the Royals

The Royals rained on the Tigers parade for the second straight game as they did just enough to get Justin Verlander out after six innings to they could touch up the bullpen.  Verlander was sharp, and he gave up just a run on six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in six innings, but when he left, it was 1-0 game and Bobby Seay was gaave up a run in the seventh and Fernando Rodney was knocked around for three runs in the eighth to put this one out of reach.  Verlander took the loss and he fell to 16-8.

The Tigers didn’t score their run until the ninth when Al Avila drove home Miguel Cabrera with a sac. fly.  Carlos Guillen doubled and drew a walk while Clete Thomas doubled but struck out three times.

The Twins and White Sox both won so we didn’t get a break there.  This afternoon, it’ll be Jarrod Washburn against Lenny DiNardo.

Royals End Tigers Six Game Winning Streak

The Tigers lost a tough one last night.  They led by as many as three runs only to see the last place Royals storm back and take this game.    Rick Porcello was very solid through the first four but he was tagged for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.  Then Bobby Seay gave up a pair of runs that proved to be the difference and the Tigers lost 7-5.

Porcello gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts in six innings.  Bobby Seay fell to 5-3 when he gave up two runs but an assist goes to Ryan Perry, who inherited the bases loaded with two outs (one runner was Porcello’s and the other two Seay’s) before he gave up back to back singles to give the Royals the lead.  Jeremy Bonderman gave up a walk and a single that led to a run and he got just one out.

I was a little taken aback when I saw Ryan Raburn was leading off but he showed me and went three for four with a solo home run and two runs.  He now has eleven on the season after having a career high of four.  Marcus Thames singled and drove in a pair while Miguel Cabrera went two for three with two walks and a run.

Same time, same place tomorrow and it’ll be Justin Verlander going for win number 17 going up against Robinson Tejada.  The Tigers got some help last night because both the Twins and White Sox lost, so the Tigers 6 1/2 game lead is still intact.

RSS Feed Test Again

One more time.

RSS Feed Test Two

Another test.

Twins Take Early Lead

It doesn’t look like the Tigers are going to pick up a half game on their off day today.  The Twins jumped out to a 5-0 lead against the Jays in the first before I could even switch over from the Pirates/Cubs game.

RSS Feed Test

Just trying to fix this, seeing if what I did worked.

Brandon Inge’s Slam Gives Tigers Seven Game Lead

For Brandon Inge, the fourth time was the charm.  He struck out in his first three at bats yesterday then came up with two outs in the top of the tenth with the bases loaded and drove them all home with a grand slam.  Up until that point, the Tigers had been shut down to the tune of one run on four hits by Wade Davis and then Lance Cormier.  The first run came on a solo shot by Aubrey Huff, his 14th of the season.  For Inge, it was his 27th and that ties his 2006 career high.

I was in the car listening in when Inge hit his slam and I just got a chance to see the video highlight.  I wonder if Brandon has a headache this morning from all of those helmet taps.

Edwin Jackson threw eight innings and he improved to 12-6.  He gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in eight innings.  Brandon Lyon got ninth inning duties yesterday and he picked up his third save of the season.

The Twins and White Sox lost so the Tigers now have a seven game and a magic number low enough to have on their standings.  Even better, they roll into Kansas City to take on the last place Royals for a three game set beginning tomorrow.  The Twins and White Sox both play this afternoon.

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