It’s hard to believe it’s been over two weeks since the Tigers collapse. The playoffs are winding down and baseball is less then two weeks away from being finished. It looks like, barring something crazy out of the Angels, that we’ll see the Phillies against the Yankees, which will make for an interesting dynamic. The Yankees, of course, have more World Series wins by far then any other team. Conversvely, the Phillies have been known more for their losing ways. They didn’t win their first World Series until 1980 and they have just two in a storied history. The Phillies are also the only team to have more then 10,000 losses in their history.
Carlos Guillen made some noise last weekend that’s still being discussed. He didn’t like how he was treated down the stretch and he talked about it. Now it looks like Guillen and Leyland have talked and we’re all good. I don’t know enough about his injury to say, but saying his switching positions are to blame is a little sketchy. He’s been “fragile” since he’s played with Detroit and while he did have a solid second half, if I remember correctly, he wasn’t able to hit from one side of the plate. He’s now basically turned into one of several decent options and if he wants to play everyday, he has to go out this spring and show he deserves to be out there.
Scott Sizemore is lighting it up this fall in Arizona. Through Tuesday, he was seven for nineteen with five extra base hits (two doubles and three home runs). That’s after a season split between Erie and Toledo where he sported an .889 OPS. Not too bad for a guy who’s known more for his glove then anything and this will make the fact that Placido Polanco is a free agent kind of sticky. The value play would be to let Polanco go and start Sizemore but he’s an unknown at the big league level.
“Now his failure is complete”
Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi
So ends the Tigers season. It was a heck of a game tonight and one that probably would have been more fun if not for the emotional investment. When the dust settled, the Tigers sat as the losers and now their season is done. I’d like to say I hate the Twins and some of that resentment goes all the way back to 1987 but the way the Twins have played down their stretch, it’s hard not to give them their due.
Jim Price or Dan Dickerson (I can’t remember which) tried to defend the Tigers and their stretch run saying it’s more how the Twins played rather then the Tigers collapsing but it’s hard to defend the overall numbers. Since July 1, the Tigers are exactly 43-43. That’s over three months of baseball playing at a .500 clip and while that was almost good enough for the American League Central, the Tigers would have been in third place in a couple of divisions. If they were competing for the AL Wildcard, they’d be nine games back. They’re a decent team in a mediocre division.
Now it’s back to the drawing board with some caveats. To stay in contention, the Tigers had to play Magglio Ordonez so he’s be taking up $18 million in salary next year. Throw in what Miguel Cabrera is making as well as some of the poorer contracts like Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis and I wouldn’t expect anything big happening. The Tigers solid start prevented ownership from making some big league cuts and they’ll probably have to do the same thing next year to prevent an overhaul/rebuilding of the team.
It just would have been nice to see the Tigers in the playoffs. I liked them playing the Yankees in the first round because of the shorter series. If they somehow managed to get past New York, it was fairly wide open. it’s just too bad there wasn’t a new team or two to make the postseason. In fact right now I don’t even know who I’ll be rooting for. The Arizona Fall League starts in a week so there’s always that as well. I’m still hoping to make it out there one day. I probably won’t get it, but the Postseason.TV package looks kind of neat.
Another Tigers season is in the books. Enjoy the postsason because there’s bound to be some good baseball.
The Tigers did their job last night, unfortunately, because they didn’t do it the past few days, all they did was force a one game playoff tomorrow against the Twins. There were some great individual performances but the Tigers almost let this one get away as well.
Let’s start with Justin Verlander. He won his 19th and that might help him pick up a couple more Cy Young votes. He gave up three runs in the eighth on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. The strikeouts bring his total up to 269 and that’s the most by a Tiger since Mickey Lolich back in 1971. Verlander threw 121 pitches and you wonder how much longer we can ride this horse.
Ryan Rabun belted two home runs and he now has 16 on the season. Not bad for a guy who got just 257 at bats. Ten of those came in the second half when Raburn’s playing time increased. Magglio Ordonez was a perfect four for four and he lifted his batting average up to .309. That leaves his OPS at .798 with the one game tomorrow to go. That would be his worst since his injury laden season back in 2005.
It’ll be Rick Porcello against Scott Baker tomorrow afternoon (5:07 start time). Nothing like leaving it up to the rookie to get us into the playoffs although Porcello was good against the Twins last week. That probably leaves Edwin Jackson to start game one against the Yankees if we make it.
Like the Spartans this afternoon, the Tigers are taking the hard way to their first division title since 1987. Their loss tonight puts them in a tie with the Twins with one to go. They need a win and then a Twins loss to win the division outright, and it also forces the Tigers to pitch Justin Verlander tomorrow instead of throwing him in game one of the ALDS.
If the Tigers and Twins both win or both lose, they play one in Minnesota and if the Tigers go with their next guy, it’ll be the rookie Rick Porcello throwing. That game will be at 5 pm on Tuesday because the Vikings will have the Metrodome for Monday night football.
Of course the worst case scenario is the Tigers lose and the Twins win and then the Tigers season is done. This is probably an understatement, but that would be a drag.
It looks like the Dodgers might pull a 2006 Tigers. They had a big lead and they clinched a playoff spot a while ago, but they haven’t been able to wrap up the division. If the Rockies win tonight and tomorrow, they’ll get the division crown and the Dodgers will settle for the Wild Card.
Not only are the Tigers losing 8-0 to the White Sox, but the Twins are beating the Royals 8-0. Not a good night so we’ll have to wait for tomorrow. Maybe we can get a trifecta, with the Tigers winning, the Twins losing and the Spartan trouncing the Wolverines. I’ll be in E. Lansing tomorrow. порно одесса
The Tigers started the week with a two game lead and now after four games with their division rival, they still sit two games ahead of the pack. The good news is, we have a two game lead with three to play instead of a two game lead with seven to play so at the very least, progress made. Now, the Tigers need to win just one game to force a playoff game with the Twins and two to win the division outright and that’s all assuming the Twins win out.
Of course the Tigers could have wrapped everything up yesterday, but why make things easy. They lost 8-3 in their finale with the Twins in a poor collaborative pitching performance. Nate Robertson took the loss and he gave up four runs in six innings while Casey Fien and Bobby Seay gave up two runs each. Armando Gallaraga was the only hurler to throw at least an inning and not give up a run.
Magglio Ordonez went two for four and he raised his batting average above .300. Gerald Laird went two for four with a run and an RBI.
Tonight, it’ll be Jack Peavy against Edwin Jackson. Let’s not make things too interesting guys.